The Good Soldiers by David Finkel; 2009; $26.00; 287 pages; Sarah Crichton Books, New York, NY; 978-0-374-16573-4; 956.7044342F4999; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock; 4/17/14-4/20/14
David Finkel was embedded with the 2-16 Battalion in 2007 and 2008 as they fought in their own private corner of Iraq. Each chapter begins with a quote from the Commander in Chief and then contrasts that with the reality of what was actually happening to the soldiers of the 2-16. During the 15 months they were in Iraq 14 boys (average age 19) were killed and 75 were awarded the Purple Heart. During this time they saw terrible things, they had terrible things done to them and they faced horror constantly. They were trying to be morally centered when those they were fighting often chose not to be. They were constantly asking themselves what is the definition of a good soldier.
Did I like it? Yes it was one of the best books I have read on the war that shows the day to day life of the grunts on the ground was like. It also showed the inanity of one side trying to follow the rules when the other side had no intention of it.
What is with the title of the review? Each chapter begins with a quote from George W. Bush about the way things were going in Iraq, the reality for the grunts turned those quotes into Bushit