- 出版社: Sarah Crichton Books (2013年10月1日)
- 精装: 272页
- 语种： 英语
- ISBN: 0374180660
- 条形码: 9780374180669
- 商品尺寸: 15.3 x 2.5 x 22.3 cm
- 商品重量: 499 g
- ASIN: 0374180660
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- 亚马逊热销商品排名: 图书商品里排第1,200,241名 (查看图书商品销售排行榜)
Thank You for Your Service (英语)
“This is not--nor should it be--an easy book. But it is an essential one.” ―Elizabeth D. Samet, The New York Times Book Review
“Embedded with the veterans, their families, their friends, and their counselors, Finkel lights up the lives of these struggling souls, who often compound their real problems by convincing themselves they're ‘weak' for ‘abandoning' their buddies and seeking treatment… Vivid, compelling, heartrending.” ―Jeff Stein, Bookforum
“Together with its masterful prequel The Good Soldiers, [Thank You for Your Service] measures the wages of the war in Iraq--the wages of war, period--as well as anything I've read . . . [Finkel] atones for our scant attention by paying meticulous heed.” ―Frank Bruni, The New York Times
“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 honored 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
“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)
“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)
“Finkel has made art out of a defining moment in history.” ―Doug Stanton, The New York Times Book Review on The Good Soldiers
“The Good Soldiers by David Finkel is the most honest, most painful, and most brilliantly rendered account of modern war I've ever read.” ―Daniel Okrent, Fortune on The Good Soldiers
David Finkel is the author of The Good Soldiers, the bestselling, critically acclaimed account of the U.S. "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 honors are a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant in 2012. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area.
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So, I say with deep sincerity, thank you for your service. You are in my prayers. You and your family. Most sincerely, mc
In interviews, author David Finkel has made clear he did not use the title ironically - as he said, when one says 'thank you' this book describes what those words are thanking a soldier or their families for.
This book follows soldiers and family members first chronicled in Finkel's The Good Soldiers, which told the story of an Iraq deployment in 2007-8. The years since have given Finkel the time and space to tell a post-war story with honest perspective.
Finkel scrupulously avoids the first-person narration so self-indulgently common in many wartime stories and memoirs. He does not pass judgement, or editorialize. He witnesses and chronicles events and conversations, but only rarely can a reader say with confidence what Finkel actually thought. That's a compliment - the narrative becomes the subject's story, whether it's Sgt. Adam Schumann, dealing with crippling PTSD, or Amanda Doster, who lost her husband, or others. With this objective focus, I rarely felt manipulated or emotionally distracted by a writer's demand that I feel something - the descriptions do that without needing any artificial help.
The book should make a reader angry and frustrated, first at the system that makes it so difficult for soldiers to get the clear-cut help they need - mostly because that help doesn't yet exist in simple terms. Everyone's trying - the book describes ample programs and functions and meetings and therapies, all of which try to find the common thread that can solve the problem. But they're learning on the fly, and it's not there yet. Second, a reader's aggravation is often directed at the soldiers - in one scene, it doesn't make sense why Schumann and his wife Saskia would get into a drag-out fight over a car radio station. Why can't he just relax? Why is he so keyed-up over nonsense? But that's the point - it doesn't make sense. And there doesn't seem to be an answer, which explains Schumann's honest and bitter frustration, which is more than matched by his wife's. While the couple remains together at the end of the book, it doesn't seem very hopeful.
Amanda Doster represents the hundreds of wives and mothers (and husbands) who lost their loved ones. She's fine financially, with a house paid for, and her kids apparently well taken care of. But all her future plans and expectations are over, and nothing has yet replaced them. It's heartbreaking, because like with Schumann, there is no switch to solve the problem. "Thank you" doesn't do it.
The book's success is that it provides the long-term context lacking in most wartime narratives. By following these men and women in years after the war, we're presented a much more honest account based on earned experience, not hope or theories. While "The Good Soldiers" is a wartime classic, it's very much rooted in a past time. "Thank You" provides a more lasting and meaningful - and ultimately, American - story.
One valid criticism of the book could be that it reinforces the "broken soldier" narrative, as though every veteran of the war is equally damaged and unable to function. I'll admit that more than once I thought to myself 'why can't they just get it together?' which misses the point that they certainly would if they could.
Hundreds of thousands of veterans came home fine, but thousands didn't. For those who complain this book reinforces a negative stereotype of a "few" damaged soldiers, my question would be what's the right number before it would be okay to focus on them, to make sure we don't forget their side to the story? Two? 200? 20,000? 200,000? If the system struggles to support the after-war needs of ANY of our veterans, I would say we need a close look at that. That's part of the deal. They don't just get paid to fight; they get paid to serve - and this after-war is part of that.
I'm an Iraq veteran myself (in 1991), and like Finkel, I embedded as a journalist in Iraq different times from 2007-09 (including part of the time Finkel describes in "The Good Soldiers"). One of the soldiers I met in '07, and again in '09, was injured in an IED attack that killed the guy sitting next to him; later, a friend of his was shot during their squad's patrol, "the second time I looked in somebody's eyes, who was dying," he said. I don't keep in touch much, but I know he's still on active duty today, an Army recruiter and senior NCO, as good humored and funny as he was back then. I'm glad that most of the soldiers I met seemed to have come home okay, heading on to college, jobs, or still on active duty - but of all those men, I'm sure some didn't and I just don't know.
I read a complimentary advance review copy from the publisher.
Finkel, who also wrote "The Good Soldiers" where he embedded with the 2-16 Infantry Battalion after the "surge" follows several of these same soldiers post their tours as they try to return to some semblance of a "new normal". This is an incredibly intense read that examines the mental toll and trauma (in addition to any physical suffering) that these soldiers face upon return, the impact it has on their families and loved ones and the all too often suicides that occur.
It is hard to read many of these stories and not feel frustration and foreboding --- frustration for the stigma that has existed around mental trauma among the military and soldiers and proper care that many of those still fail to receive and foreboding because most of these stories don't end all that positively. In fact, even in the best of circumstances, the long term struggles these soldiers face and the fact that the normal they knew before going over to Iraq will never quite be the same.
Whether you supported the war in Iraq or not, the individuals who volunteered to risk their lives for their country deserve their stories to be heard and understood and to get the resources and support of our country to treat the mental and physical trauma they suffer as a result of their sacrifices. This is an extremely powerful and important book and will no doubt remain on the definitive canon of books on the Iraq War.