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 FinkelSee more books from this Author
“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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
An aggregated and normalized score based on 400 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes
Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'