Vanessa M. Gezari

The Tender Soldier

“Bravely reported and beautifully told, The Tender Soldier is a crushing story of good intentions and war. Vanessa Gezari is an unflinching journalist, and she has written a great, angering, and heartbreaking book that in its many layers is as damning as it is honorable.”

—David Finkel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Good Soldiers

“Nuanced, readable, and utterly engrossing, Gezari’s exposé is a revelatory and unique look at the war in Afghanistan.”

—Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“The story running through the heart of The Tender Soldier is a searing reminder that wars may be waged with good intentions, but they are built upon tragedy. Vanessa Gezari explores this grim paradox with an admirable lucidity and a sharp eye for the kind of telling detail that make her account of the U.S. war in Afghanistan a moving, unforgettable read.”

—Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker staff writer and author of the national bestseller The Fall of Baghdad

“Insightful. Gezari delivers a gripping report on another of America’s painful, surprisingly difficult efforts to win hearts and minds.”

—Kirkus (starred review)

The Tender Soldier takes readers on an eloquent journey back through one tragic American death in Afghanistan. But its larger point is a hard-fisted critique of the U.S. military’s chronic inability to understand the larger world in which it operates. It is a book worth memorizing, and repeating to U.S. decision-makers, when the next Iraq or Afghanistan presents itself as it surely will.”

—Dana Priest, Pulitzer Prize-winning coauthor of Top Secret America

“Gezari’s gripping tale of American idealism gone wrong is vital reading for anyone interested in America’s decade of war in Afghanistan. Beautifully told, the book illuminates one of the most interesting and little known programs in recent U.S. military history.”

—Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR international correspondent

“Part history, part war story, part critique, Gezari writes with a stonecutter’s brilliance, snapping into focus a part of the world, and a chapter in American history, that we don’t fully comprehend. Citizens will read The Tender Soldier in a few nights and come away feeling smarter and enriched. This is brilliant reading and is a kind of road map by which to understand other wars, and other news reports breaking daily around us.”

—Doug Stanton, author of the New York Times bestseller Horse Soldiers

Maiwand, Afghanistan, 2009

(Vanessa M. Gezari)

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