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Thank You for Your Serviceby David Finkel
Synopses & Reviews
From a MacArthur Fellow and the author of The Good Soldiers, a profound look at life after war
The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, but none has reckoned with the psychology of these wars as intimately as the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel. For The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel embedded with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion during the infamous “surge,” a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed them all forever. In Finkels hands, readers can feel what these young men were experiencing, and his harrowing story instantly became a classic in the literature of modern war.
In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel has done something even more extraordinary. Once again, he has embedded with some of the men of the 2-16—but this time he has done it at home, here in the States, after their deployments have ended. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done.
The story Finkel tells is mesmerizing, impossible to put down. With his unparalleled ability to report a story, he climbs into the hearts and minds of those he writes about. Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of these two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for?
One of Publishers Weeklys Best Nonfiction Books of 2013
One of The Washington Posts Top 10 Books of the Year
A New York Times Notable Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013
"From April 2007 to April 2008, Finkel, a MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize — winning reporter with the Washington Post, spent a total of eight months embedded in eastern Iraq with the young infantrymen of the 2-16 as their battalion fought desperately to survive and to make Bush's troop surge a success. In 2009's The Good Soldiers (one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year), he chronicled their harrowing day-to-day experiences — as their trust in the Iraqi people eroded, their nerves and comrades were shot, and IED after IED exploded. In this incredibly moving sequel, Finkel reconnects with some of the men of the 2-16 — now home on American soil — and brings their struggles powerfully to life. These soldiers have names and daughters and bad habits and hopes, and though they have left the war in Iraq, the Iraq War has not left them. Now the battle consists of readjusting to civilian and family life, and bearing the often unbearable weight of their demons. Some have physical injuries, and all suffer from crippling PTSD. And as if navigating their own mental and emotional labyrinths weren't enough of a challenge, they must also make sense of the Dickensian bureaucracy that is the Department of Veterans Affairs. Told in crisp, unsentimental prose and supplemented with excerpts from soldiers' diaries, medical reports, e-mails, and text messages, their stories give new meaning to the costs of service — and to giving thanks. Photos. Agent: Melanie Jackson, Melanie Jackson Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In the tradition of Andrew Solomon and Kay Redfield Jamison, an examination of the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder on American life, by an ex-Marine and war correspondent who suffers from the condition.
In the tradition of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Noonday Demon, a moving, eye-opening exploration of PTSD
Just as polio loomed over the 1950s, and AIDS stalked the 1980s and ’90s, posttraumatic stress disorder haunts us in the early years of the twenty-first century. Over a decade into the United States’ “global war on terror,” PTSD afflicts as many as 30 percent of the conflict’s veterans. But the disorder’s reach extends far beyond the armed forces. In total, some twenty-seven million Americans are believed to be PTSD survivors. Yet to many of us, the disorder remains shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and shame.
Now, David J. Morris — a war correspondent, former Marine, and PTSD sufferer himself — has written the essential account of this illness. Through interviews with individuals living with PTSD, forays into the scientific, literary, and cultural history of the illness, and memoir, Morris crafts a moving work that will speak not only to those with the condition and to their loved ones, but also to all of us struggling to make sense of an anxious and uncertain time.
A FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE, THE DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE, AND THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY HELEN BERNSTEIN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM
ONE OF TEN FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2013 BY MICHIKO KAKUTANI (THE NEW YORK TIMES) AND AWASHINGTON POSTTOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BYTHE WASHINGTON POST, USA TODAY, THE ECONOMIST, THE SEATTLE TIMES,ANDMINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEWNOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel embedded with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous “surge,” a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed them all forever.
In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel follows many of those same men as they return home and struggle to reintegrate—both into their family lives and into American society at large. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done. Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for?
About the Author
David Finkel is a staff writer for The Washington Post and the leader of the Posts national reporting team. In 2012, he received a MacArthur Fellowship for his journalism, and in 2006 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for a series of stories about U.S.-funded democracy efforts in Yemen. Finkel lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and two daughters.
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