David Finkel was embedded with the 2-16 on the outskirts of Bahgdad during Bush’s 2007 surge. He journals their work for one year. The troops are ordinary volunteer enlistees on routine patrols in a suburb bursting with IEDs, missiles from nowhere, and small-arms gunfire. The power of the book is its omniscient eye and spare reporting. Soldiers lose hands, legs, jaws, sleep, mental stability, and their understanding of purpose with devastating simplicity. An excellent companion to Dexter Filkins’ The Forever War.