Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post Pentagon correspondent Thomas E. Ricks lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University’s Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. He is the author...read more
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post Pentagon correspondent Thomas E. Ricks lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University’s Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. He is the author of the bestselling book Making the Corps. He lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and children.
"The military is a foreign country for most Americans today, a country fewer Americans visit nowadays, with its own language and culture," says Thomas E. Ricks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post, a man who is often called the "dean" of America's military correspondents. Ricks knows foreign lands: He spent part of his childhood in Afghanistan and, after graduating from Yale, won a fellowship to travel and study in the Far East. As a reporter, he has covered U.S. military operations in Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, and the Middle East. When Ricks told his editor at Random House that he'd decided to write a novel, he at first heard silence at the other end of the line. "I'd just enjoyed a pretty solid success with my first book, and I think he was hoping for a big nonfiction idea. But I found I couldn't not write this novel. I did it not so much to give vent to my feelings about the state of today's military and its growing estrangement from the rest of the country. It's more that I got possessed by these characters, and this story, which begins with a group of dissidents within the United States Army who view the President as a traitor. I know some people like this, and it wasn't such a stretch to set this novel in the near future and let things get a bit out of control." The result is A Soldier's Duty, and now Ricks's editor pretends that he never, ever paused on the other end of the phone.