Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel

83%

12 Critic Reviews

Sometimes in this volume, Mr. Finkel’s writing eddies into prose that needlessly italicizes emotions. This is not only distracting — it’s totally unnecessary.
-NY Times

Synopsis

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 Finkel's 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 Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of 2013
One of The Washington Post's 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

 

About David Finkel

See more books from this Author
David Finkel is a staff writer for The Washington Post and the leader of the Post’s 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.
 
Published October 1, 2013 by Sarah Crichton Books. 273 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Thank You for Your Service
All: 12 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Jun 25 2013

Washington Post writer Finkel delivers one of the most morally responsible works of journalism to emerge from the post-9/11 era.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Sep 30 2013

Sometimes in this volume, Mr. Finkel’s writing eddies into prose that needlessly italicizes emotions. This is not only distracting — it’s totally unnecessary.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth D. Samet on Sep 26 2013

“Thank You for Your Service” is elegantly reported, free of the entanglements of crusading self-aggrandizement on the one hand and, on the other, an overidentification with its subjects.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Geoff Dyer on Nov 08 2013

It was relatively easy – for a writer of Finkel's courage, dedication and skill – to describe combat in The Good Soldiers. The same goes for the after-effects of injuries in Thank You for Your Service...

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jul 15 2013

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.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Christine Spolar on Dec 06 2013

...dig deep into America, as Finkel has so masterfully done, to explore, one family at a time, the lingering ravages of war.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from Financial Times

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Mark Brunswick on Sep 28 2013

Finkel’s access is extraordinary, yet his presence is never imposing. He takes us inside brutal counseling sessions at a California treatment program for vets.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Chris Berube on Oct 11 2013

Ultimately, Thank You is an important piece of work, a deep dive into the psychology of a country where a poor job market and a short national memory mean there is almost nothing left but pity for the men and women returning from conflict.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Jake Tapper on Oct 03 2013

It is a book that every American should read to understand why our easily offered expressions of gratitude — as suggested by the book's title — are insufficient. Whatever one thinks about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we as a society in no small way caused this pain and inflicted these scars. Trying to understand is the very least we can do.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from LA Times

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Marcia Kaye on Nov 04 2013

Finkel’s prose, following the rhythms of the people he shadows, is spare and riveting, and incites both compassion for the wounded and fury at the system.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from Toronto Star

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Jake Tapper on Oct 03 2013

Nic DeNinno's anti-nightmare meds are failing as he tries to explain to his wife why his nighttime thoughts about killing prove that he is, or isn't, a monster. Finkel sketches a panoramic view of postwar life, which includes not just soldiers.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service | See more reviews from LA Times

M Live

Good
Reviewed by Yvonne Zipp on Oct 15 2013

"Thank You for Your Service" is tough, heart-rending reading that has little in the way of triumphs or pat answers.

Read Full Review of Thank You for Your Service

Reader Rating for Thank You for Your Service
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 400 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'

×