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The Good Soldiers [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

David Finkel
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Kurzbeschreibung

3. August 2010

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR:
THE NEW YORK TIMES
CHICAGO TRIBUNE

SLATE.COM
THE BOSTON GLOBE
THE KANSAS CITY STAR
THE PLAIN DEALER
(CLEVELAND)
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

WINNER OF THE HELEN BERNSTEIN BOOK AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM

It was the last-chance moment of the war. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced a new strategy for Iraq. It became known as "the surge." Among those called to carry it out were the young, optimistic army infantry soldiers of the 2-16, the battalion nicknamed the Rangers. About to head to a vicious area of Baghdad, they decided the difference would be them.

Fifteen months later, the soldiers returned home — forever changed. The chronicle of their tour is gripping, devastating, and deeply illuminating for anyone with an interest in human conflict.  With The Good Soldiers, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Finkel has produced an eternal story — not just of the Iraq War, but of all wars, for all time.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 316 Seiten
  • Verlag: Picador; Auflage: Picador. (3. August 2010)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0312430027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312430023
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,8 x 15,6 x 2,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 39.100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

“Finkel has made art out of a defining moment in history. You will be able to take this book down from the shelf years from now and say: 'This is what happened. This is what it felt like.'” —Doug Stanton, The New York Times Book Review

“Let me be direct. The Good Soldiers by David Finkel is the most honest, most painful, and most brilliantly rendered account of modern war I’ve ever read. I got no exercise at all the day I gulped down its 284 riveting pages.” —Daniel Okrent, Fortune

“Over and over, I cried. I endured nightmares. I have read hundreds of books about war and almost two dozen books about the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Most of them affected me. But none has affected me as deeply as The Good Soldiers.” —Steve Weinberg, The Kansas City Star

“Heart-stopping . . . captures the surreal horror of war.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

 
“A whole generation of these men will (God willing) be coming home, and The Good Soldiers is as good a guide as I can imagine to who they'll be when they get here.” —Devin Friedman, GQ

“[A] new classic . . . the reader cannot get enough . . . As a compelling read, The Good Soldiers is all good.” —J. Ford Huffman, Military Times

“David Finkel has written the most unforgettable book of the Iraq War, a masterpiece that will far outlast the fighting.” —David Maraniss, author of They Marched into Sunlight

“From a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer at the height of his powers comes an incandescent and profoundly moving book: powerful, intense, enraging. This may be the best book on war since the Iliad.” —Geraldine Brooks, author of People of the Book and March

“This is the best account I have read of the life of one unit in the Iraq War. It is closely observed, carefully recorded, and beautifully written. David Finkel doesn’t just take you into the lives of our soldiers, he takes you deep into their nightmares.” —Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Gamble

“Brilliant, heartbreaking, deeply true. The Good Soldiers offers the most intimate view of life and death in a twenty-first-century combat unit I have ever read. Unsparing, unflinching, and, at times, unbearable.” —Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle

“This is the finest book yet written on the platoon-level combat of the Iraq war . . . Unforgettable—raw, moving, and rendered with literary control . . . No one who reads this book will soon forget its imagery, words, or characters.” —Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars

"Vivid and moving . . .Finkel’s keen firsthand reportage, its grit and impact only heightened by the literary polish of his prose, gives us one of the best accounts yet of the American experience in Iraq." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A superb account of the burdens soldiers bear." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

David Finkel is a senior writer-in-residence at the Center for a New American Security and the national enterprise editor at The Washington Post. He is the recipient of the MacArther "Genius" Fellowship. Finkel won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2006 for a series of stories about U.S.-funded democracy efforts in Yemen. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and two daughters. Email him at davidfinkel@thegoodsoldiers.com.


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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Erschütternd und mitreissend! 10. Oktober 2011
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Dieses Buch beschreibt das wahre grausame Gesicht des Krieges, wobei der Autor es nicht versäumt, dem Leser die involvierten Persönlichkeiten näher zu bringen, und ihn mit den einzelnen Charakteren und ihren Geschichten und Schicksalen bekannt zu machen. Daher erhält das Buch eine sehr persönliche Note, die einen ziemlich stark in das Schicksal der Betroffenen involviert und nicht mehr los lässt. Ich habe sehr viele Bücher über verschiedene Kriege gelesen, aber kaum eines hat eine solch intensive Betroffenheit in mir ausgelöst wie dieses.
Wer sich für die Thematik interessiert und der englischen Sprache mächtig ist, sollte dieses Buch auf jeden Fall gelesen haben.
In einer anschaulichen Sprache und mit sorgfältig gewählten Worten erzählt der Autor die Geschichte der "guten Soldaten", die ihr Leben riskiert und geopfert haben, ohne es zu versäumen, den Leser daran zu erinnern, wofür sie dies taten. Die Hintergrundinformationen sind nämlich ziemlich ausführlich dargestellt, so dass der unbedarfte Leser einen guten Einblick in die Kriegssituation erhält. Der Autor nimmt dabei kein Blatt vor den Mund und keine Rücksicht darauf, wie die jeweiligen Staaten, Länder, Politiker und Militärs erscheinen, denn er erzählt einfach die Wahrheit.
...und diese ist keine Heldengeschichte, sondern eine sehr traurige, nur allzu reale Geschichte, die uns alle betrifft.
An vielen Stellen wird das Lesen dadurch erschwert, dass die Augen wässrig werden, aber diese Tränen lohnen sich und machen das Buch für mich zu einem der lesenswertesten dieses Genres.
Zudem ist das Buch romanartig geschrieben, was das Lesen sehr erleichtert. Es ist gehaltvoll, gefühlvoll und echt, daher kann ich guten Gewissens die volle Punktzahl geben!
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen ausgewogen, erhellend und phasenweise ergreifend 25. März 2012
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Wer die Situation der GIs im sogenannten "Krieg gegen den Terror" erleben will, kommt an diesem Buch nicht vorbei. Es geht um keine öde Regiments-Chronik oder pathetische Schilderungen dramatischer Gefechte. Es geht auch nicht um geo-strategische Analysen vom Schreibtisch aus oder um eine anstrengende moralische Überhöhung/Verdammung der Soldaten. Es wird aufgezeigt wie es aus Sicht eines Infanterie-Bataillons der US Army in der Realität ist. Keine Facette wird ausgepart, auch wenn sie unbequem und evtl. nicht politisch korrekt ist. Darin liegt der Verdienst des Autors. Manche Stellen sind schlicht ergreifend ... auch für den robusten Leser. Kein bequemes Buch, keine Weltliteratur ... aber sehr gut.
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6 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Simply phantastic! 23. September 2010
Format:Taschenbuch
Best book I read about the war in Iraq. Very personal. Very well written. Read it very quickly over 2 days, often with tears in my eyes. Should be mandatory in schools in the Western world around the world. Thanks to all the good soldiers out there.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Astonishing! 11. Februar 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is, without a doubt, one of the best books about the war in Iraq so far. It's also one of the best books I have ever read. It provides a lot of background to the ongoing operations in Iraq but the focus is clearly on the situation of a regular soldier in all his misery and doubt. In its description it leaves absolutely nothing to ask for. It's thrilling and sometimes heartbreaking and a true memorial for all the good soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A staggering achievement 17. September 2009
Von Nathan Webster - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I have embedded as a freelance photojournalist with US soldiers in Iraq three times, including a small part of the time that Finkel describes here, in 2007. At that time, and as excellently described here, the country was basically a hellstorm.

There are z-e-r-o images or anecdotes in this book that come across as anything less than powerfully true, and many of his observations mirror in some ways things I saw on a much smaller scale. So for me, the credibility was rock solid. I kept thinking to myself, "oh yeah, I remember when something like X happened."

But, the most factually accurate book won't work if it's not written well. That is NOT a problem here. He tells it straight and without a lot of florid adjectives and overwriting. It's a strong enough story to succeed on its own merits, without the author trying to make us notice him as well. I really respect how he keeps himself totally out of it. There's nothing wrong with an "I" biographical style, but it's good to see the soldier's stories told here with a minimum of editorializing. It just tells us what happened; a lot of it's pretty horrible, some of it is very funny, with plenty in between.

Dexter Filkins' "The Forever War," had been my most respected book about Iraq, but this surpasses it only because it focuses so closely on an individual unit and the men doing the job. Filkins does a lot more in his book, but I think the tight focus of "Good Soldiers" helps it stand even more apart.

I'm not even sure it could be summed up as what it's "about." It doesn't have a happy ending, there's no big defining battle, just a lot of fights that don't seem to add up to much. It's not pointless, because we know that the 'surge' the men suffered through actually did work to some extent (though no one knows the future), so we can look at the sacrifice of the men who died a lot differently.

It's not easy to read. It's not fun. It always seems like the audience wants these types of books to be either blatantly anti-any-war polemics, or rah-rah, wave-the-flag screeds. Iraq was neither of those places. It wasn't anything other than the worst place on earth, with a lot of bad things happening, and everybody telling a lot of funny stories while they were hoping to get home okay. Nobody really remembers or considers the soldiers who had to go out there, into that fight. They think they do, but they don't. This book will help you understand.
136 von 139 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "It's all good" 21. September 2009
Von Christopher G. Wright - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
My son was in this battalion and is an admirer of the battalion commander, "Col K" as everyone calls him. I had heard many of the stories in this book but not in their totality. David Finkel has written an intense, compelling, and emotional account that succeeds in covering the war on so many facets simultaneously: strategic, operational, tactical, homefront, and the Iraqi perspective as well. A map would have been nice but this was not an account written to stop and reference maps, but to be read and felt. Every chapter has a chronologically correct statement from President Bush about the war. We read what is happening at home with the wives and in the hospitals where the severely wounded are recovering. We also learn about the Iraqis who work as translators for the battalion. We follow the soldiers home on leave from the war zone. It's the story of this battalion, its commander, some officers, and those wounded and killed during an extended deployment who just kept on giving and doing their duty. This book to quote Col K's motto, "it's all good."
112 von 119 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Personal, emotional, and powerful 15. September 2009
Von AcornMan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In "A Note on Sources and Methods" at the end of this book, the author writes, "From the beginning, I explained to [the soldiers of the 2-16] that my intent was to document their corner of the war, without agenda." The result is the most intimate and touching story about the lives and deaths of American servicemen not just in Iraq, but in any other war for that matter, that I have ever come across. Other excellent books about the war in Iraq have achieved greatness in other ways, but this account is unique by virtue of the author's ability to open windows into the souls of the men who experienced the war - their hopes, dreams, nightmares, and fears - and to give readers unprecedented insight into the way the war has touched those men and the families they left behind when they deployed.

This book is neither pro-war nor anti-war. It does not represent an effort to glorify or demonize any person or policy. It is, quite simply, an honest account of the realities on the ground for one battalion of soldiers based in a hostile environment during one of the most crucial periods of the war. In meticulous and thoughtful detail, Finkel recounts the experiences of the individuals who served in the 2-16, from the early days of anticipation, to the final days of dealing with the realities of a complex and often frustrating conflict with no easy answers and no clean conclusion. Much of the book focuses on the confident and optimistic commander of the 2-16, Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich, but readers will also come to know dozens of other personalities from the battalion, running from the top to the bottom of the chain of command. In that sense the book achieves its goal of documenting the war on multiple scales, from the private thoughts of individual soldiers to the overall experience of the battalion.

Anyone with an interest in the war in Iraq or military affairs in general will benefit tremendously from reading The Good Soldiers. I felt at various times while reading it excited, impressed, or deeply sad, but always enlightened by the intimate details of the story. It is a powerful book that sets aside politics and ideology to reveal war for what it really is and how it affects those who are closest to it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen From someone who's been there 13. Oktober 2009
Von Brian R. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I wasn't with the 2-16, but after reading this book, I agree with another reviewer in that I felt like it was almost written about me and my unit. Loops around the FOB; an Ambien to sleep, and then another, and then another and then another; rearranging furniture, positioning yourself a certain way in the turret for when an EFP might hit so you'd still have one good leg. It's all real. This book was hard to read. I read it as I flew back from Iraq and in public, there were times I needed to put the book down, breathe deep, and thank God I have a Xanax prescription to go with the Ambien. Well told story, excellently written, and I recommend it to anyone with family or a loved one over there. This book writes about what a lot of us did over there, and how we dealt with it. It might help you understand them and why they act and do the things they do. As a soldier who's been there, I ask you to read it. Try and understand us better.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen a soldier's perspective 30. Oktober 2009
Von Josh - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I was very impressed at how well David Finkel captured the emotion of this deployment that I was a part of. The frustration, contradiction, and common humanity he describes brought back quite a few memories and put them into words with freshness and bluntness.

And while I appreciate his powerful listening skills, representing the viewpoints of the soldiers, perhaps the author overplays his cards. The angle he seems to be coming at it with is that these fourteen months in Iraq were so intense that nobody else could understand it other than those who were there. To a degree, that may be true, but if there was not enough common emotion between soldiers and civilians, then the book itself would be pointless.

Those who have never been to war may not understand the soul-shattering depths of combat, but the assumption that soldiers cannot relate to civilians, in my estimation, leads to many of the tragedies that occur after soldiers return from war. We as soldiers are told that noone can understand us, so many turn to new cars, video games, and alcohol to drown away our memories... and that does not work.

Soldiers may not be able to explain everything they feel to those who haven't been there, but if people take the time to listen to what we choose to share instead of instantly saying "thank you for your service" before driving away in a car with a "support the troops" sticker, then a bridge begins to form. These surface-level signs of support build more barriers (again, in my estimation) than tear down.

And despite seeming to realize all this, Finkel overplays the isolation. He illustrates the absurdity of the pain and death in this war and then scoffs off peacemakers trying to make these connections to the population back in America that is usually only connected to the war by "updates" on the bottom of their cable tv screens. There are some activists that create even more divisiveness, but since being back, I have found that the overwhelming number that I have met are seeking to serve the troops and reconcile the pain that this country--at home and abroad--has experienced. As I type this, I am working with a community peace group who is working to learn as much as they can about the needs of returning veterans because a national guard unit in their town is coming home in a few months. I have found that most of the time those who are quickest to say "support the troops" are also the quickest to create an atmosphere where soldiers feel they cannot share how they really feel.

As a listener, Finkel is superb. And while capturing the emotion, he leaves out many of the things that created such intense emotion. Perhaps unaware, perhaps trying to be non-controversial, the book doesn't describe events like when Bravo Co. moved into the factory in Kamaliyah, how the local community came out to nonviolently protest our prescence in their neighborhood. He doesn't mention any of the reasons why 2-16 was regularly under investigation. There is nothing about the list of informants that we lost out on patrol, many of whom wound up dead or that many times, when Iraqis did risk their lives to help us and wound up dead in the back of an Iraqi Police truck, American soldiers would poke at the bodies and take pictures. There was so much confusion and contradiction there, but many of the reasons behind it were left out.

He also leaves out many less than "humanitarian" descriptions about Kauzlarich... probably because he wasn't there for most this, but a more complete picture of the man would include things like calling my one African-American friend "my little tar-baby", or telling another friend that he was on his list of "bad soldiers" and "20% of the names on that list are no longer living". While the book mentions the compassion he shows to Sgt. Emory when visiting him in the hospital, it doesn't tell about what he said behind his back; we had a picture on our wall of Sgt. Emory in the hospital, wearing a helmet to hold his head together... "oh! there's Sgt. Emory and his duh-duh-duh helmet" Kauzlarich said as the soldiers in the room had to restrain themselves from unleashing their anger on him. And the most important thing Kauzlarich said that was left out was his policy (not an uncommon one) that whenever an IED went off, we were authorized to shoot anyone in the area. This policy was one of the hugest contributors to the emotion that Finkel captured so well in his book.

Overall it is a very powerful read. I realized he had limited space and knowledge about some of the things that went on, but on an emotional, gut level, if you really read between the lines, this book will help you understand a little bit of the isolation and absurdity that so many soldiers experience.
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