No journalist is better situated to reckon with the psychology of war than David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel shadowed the men of a US infantry battalion as they carried out a gruelling 15-month tour that changed all of them forever. Now, Finkel follows many of those same men back home, in a journey that is less about geography than of psychological terrain, undertaken by people trying to heal or at the very least survive.
In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel writes with tremendous compassion about the soldiers, and about their partners and children: the heartbroken wife who wonders privately whether her returned husband is going to get better, or kill her; and the heroic victims, with the fresh taste of a gun in their mouth, who will either make the journey back to sanity or to final ruin.
Finkel takes us everywhere that the war is seeping into as it infects America: to the courtrooms that are being filled with divorce and abuse cases, and worse; to bars; and to Fort Riley, in the mental-health clinic to which the army is outsourcing its post-traumatic stress disorder cases. Thank You for Your Service is an immense act of understanding — shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane.
Read Caroline Baum Review
Anyone who read The Yellow Birds, the stunning debut from US ex-soldier Kevin Powers will be in no doubt about the trauma that comes home wi
th soldiers after their tour of duty is over. Now David Finkel has written a profoundly humane and compassionate portrait of the men broken by PTSD and their wives, partners and families as they battle for sanity to be restored to those who fought for their country.
We see these bewildered women and children at home and we visit the mental health facilities swamped with vets struggling to make sense of life and contemplating suicide. Some post-combat programs are more successful than others, but all are overwhelmed by demand as symptoms reach epidemic proportions, with acute social consequences no one can afford to ignore.
This is first class un-intrusive, unshowy fly-on-the-wall observational journalism, the very best of what American non-fiction can be: powerful, purposeful, eloquent, urgent and central to a national conversation. Did someone say Pulitzer?
About the Author
David Finkel is the national enterprise editor of The Washington Post. He joined the Post in 1990 and has worked for the paper's national, foreign, and magazine staffs. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, and throughout the United States, and was part of the Post's war coverage in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo. Among Finkel's journalism honours are a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2006 for a series of stories about US-funded democracy efforts in Yemen. He has been a Pulitzer finalist three other times, for both explanatory reporting and feature writing.
AMAZON 2013 BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR Praise for "Thank You for Your Service" "This is not--nor should it be--an easy book. But it is an essential one." --Elizabeth D. Samet, "The New York Times Book Review""Embedded with the veterans, their families, their friends, and their counselors, Finkel lights up the lives of these struggling souls, who often compound their real problems by convincing themselves they're 'weak' for 'abandoning' their buddies and seeking treatment... Vivid, compelling, heartrending." --Jeff Stein, "Bookforum ""Together with its masterful prequel "The Good Soldiers," ["Thank You for Your Service"] measures the wages of the war in Iraq--the wages of war, period--as well as anything I've read . . . [Finkel] atones for our scant attention by paying meticulous heed." --Frank Bruni, "The New York Times ""I'm urging everyone I know to give "Thank You for Your Service" just a few pages, a few minutes out of their busy lives. The families honored in this urgent, important book will take it from there." --Katherine Boo, National Book Award-winning author of "Behind the Beautiful Forevers """Thank You for Your Service" is one of the best and truest books I have ever read. David Finkel cuts through all the spin, the excuses, the blowhard politics and mind-deadening metrics to discover the cost of war for the soldiers who fight it and the families they come home to. This extraordinary book will piss you off and break your heart. It will shame you and lift you up. It will bend your mind to the reality of an American war that is now well into its second decade." --Ben Fountain, author of "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award "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 . . . Told in crisp, unsentimental prosem
Published: 25th September 2013
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 23.4
Edition Number: 1