During a visit to Australia in 2007, then President George W. Bush was asked how the war in Iraq was progressing. He was overheard answering, "We're kicking ass." But how were the soldiers who were fighting the war faring? In this extraordinary talk at the Perth Writers Festival, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel discusses his book The Good Soldiers.
It is an unflinching account of the eight months in 2007 he spent embedded in U.S. army infantry 2-16, a battalion based in Baghdad. Finkel chronicles how he formed bonds with the soldiers and observed close-up how the war changed them. He details the difficult decisions he faced when writing the book, and how the troops and their families have reacted to reading it.
Warning: This talk contains some coarse language.
David Finkel is a staff writer for The Washington Post, for which he has worked as a journalist since 1990. In 2006 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for a series of articles he wrote on the U.S. Government's attempts to bring democracy to Yemen.
He has been a war correspondent for The Washington Post in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. In 2009 he published The Good Soldiers, an account of the eight months he spent embedded in U.S. army infantry 2-16, a battalion based in Baghdad which was part of U.S. military campaign known as the Surge.