Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter and author David Finkel will speak at the College of Charleston on October 14, 2014 at 7 p.m. as part of The College Reads!, the campus-wide common reading program. The free event is in Sottile Theatre and is open to the public.
David Finkel is the author of The Good Soldiers, listed a best book of 2009 by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Slate.com, and The Boston Globe, and winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a staff writer for The Washington Post, and is also the leader of the Post’s national reporting team. He won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2006 for a series of stories about U.S.-funded democracy efforts in Yemen, and the MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2012.
In The Good Soldiers, Finkel shares the lives of Battalion 2-16 from Fort Riley, Kansas, one of the first units sent to East Baghdad Iraq for a 15-month deployment as a part of the 2007 “surge.” As an embedded journalist, Finkel chronicles the daily lives of the young men and their commander, Col. Ralph Kauzlarich. Their mission was to help stabilize Baghdad, but they found themselves in a war with a rapidly changing frontline. Finkel’s account is a story about people and his close relationships with the men provides a human perspective that is often lost in the day-to-day reporting on the fighting.
As part of The College Reads! Program, all incoming students and faculty were given a copy of The Good Soldiers. In addition to reading and discussing the book in classes, there are also activities planned throughout the year.
- Every Thursday at 12:08 p.m., faculty and staff are reading poems in Cougar Mall to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.
- October 29 – Breaking the Silence: Stories of PTSD – panel discussion, 4:30-5:45 p.m. in Robert Scott Small, room 235.
- November 11 – Dr. James Ficke, a battlefield physician, will speak at 5 p.m. in the School of Science and Math Building, room 129.
- November 12 – Retired Staff Sergeant Eric Alva, the first American Marine seriously injured in the Iraq War, will speak at 7 p.m. in the Stern Center Ballroom.