Thank You for Your Service
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Thank You for Your Service

By (author) David Finkel

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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 mouths, 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.

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  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 25mm | 492g
  • 14 Nov 2013
  • Scribe Publications
  • Carlton North
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • illustrations (black and white)
  • 1922247081
  • 9781922247087
  • 252,613

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Author Information

David Finkel is the author of The Good Soldiers, the bestselling, critically acclaimed account of the US 'surge' during the Iraq War and a New York Times Best Book of the Year. An editor and writer for The Washington Post, Finkel has reported from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, and across the United States, and has covered wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Among Finkel's honours are a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 and a MacArthur Foundation 'genius' grant in 2012. He lives in the Washington, DC, area.

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Review quote

'More than two million Americans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. In this harrowing book, Finkel looks at what happens to those soldiers, and their families, when they return home ... Heartbreaking' Herald Sun 'In a series of interconnected stories, Finkel follows a handful of soldiers and their spouses through the painful, sometimes-fatal process of reintegration into American society. The author gives a clear-eyed, frightening portrayal of precisely what it is like to suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury and what it is like to have the specter of suicide whispering into your ear every day.' Kirkus Reviews (starred review) '[A] heartbreaking book ... The stories of the soldiers and their families portrayed in Thank You for Your Service possess a visceral and deeply affecting power ... that will haunt readers long after they have finished this book.' -- Michiko Kakutani New York Times '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 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.' Publishers Weekly (starred review) 'Thank You for Your Service is an almost unbearably sad book. It is also one I would urge you to read, to begin to appreciate the appalling toll war takes on troops ... Finkel is an extraordinarily compassionate writer.' -- Matthew Ricketson The Weekend Australian Every politician must read this book before sending their country's soldiers into battle. Dear soldier, before going to war, read this book. To understand the damage done by war, read this. -- Barry Heard '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 honoured 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 'A vivid, fly-on-the-wall account of American soldiers, returned from Iraq, as they and their families struggle to cope with the after-effects of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.' -- Lia Mills Irish Times 'Books of the Year 2014'

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