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The Good Soldiers - an alternative view
on 27 April 2011
I have to disagree with some of the reviews written here. I found the book to be patronising and the author seemed to spend the whole of his time trying to find the negatives in any situation. He also seems to have spent the majority of his time attached to the CO's webbing with the occasional mention of the troops involved.
Now, getting to the soldiers involved. In each case he only goes to the soldiers' story if it shows the worst of what was happening to the Battalion. Even when they have a good result during an operation Finkel always can find the negative side to bring down the importance of what they were actually doing.
Finkel describes how this Battalion was brought together purely for operations in Iraq and mentiones that some of the soldiers should never have been there due to varying personality issues and also delinquency issues. He does this early in the book, setting the standards that he expected from the Battalion. A big mistake in my view. Also Finkel must have been attached to the most humnourless infantry Battalion that the US could find. I personally don't believe this. There is nothing in the book about the humour that fighting men find in virtually any situation - everything is negative, hence the negative review I have to give.
I feel that Finkel has done this Battalion and its officers no service at all and also feel that the Battalion did not live up to his uninformed standards therefore only the bad side can be shown. A good example of this is the nominal roll of the battalion at the end of the book. It has asterisks against those who received the Purple Heart - there is absolutely no mention against names of those soldiers who picked up bravery awards. This I think sums up the book in total, Finkel has ignored the positives of this Battalion purely to show the negatives.
This is my opinion, and I am happy to be proved wrong should members of the battalion wish to come along and give their view. I believe this Battalion to be better than portrayed by Finkel in an especially difficult area of operations.