Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Good Soldiers chronicles 15 months in Bagdad during the Surge

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Not since Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried has there been such a searing, unembellished and unforgettable look at war as David Finkel's The Good Soldiers, a journal-like account of 15 months spent with the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, aka the 2-16, aka the "Rangers," in a little slice of vicious hell in Baghdad that everyone, even generals, avoids visiting if they can.

Finkel, a Pulitizer-Prize winning staff writer for the Washington Post, documents the ups and downs--mostly downs--of the Rangers as they become the front line in George W. Bush's infamous "surge," following the soldiers from their home base at Ft. Riley, Kansas, to the IED-mined roads of Baghdad. He follows them and he follows them and he follows them ... to their breakdowns, to their hospital bedsides and even, unfortunately, to their graves, in what has to be one of the most astounding, heartbreaking and beautifully written chronicles of men at war ever written.

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