COMMUNITY TEXTDiversity is one of American University’s greatest strengths. Our students come from different high schools, from different states, and fromdifferent countries and they are shaped by different families, cultures, and experiences. So what do all these diverse students have incommon? What brings you together as a community? One commonality is that you have all chosen to come to American University, whereyou will share many experiences together. Another is the "community text," a book that all first year students are expected to read beforethey come to campus. You will use this book in your writing class, both in discussion and in writing assignments.This year’s book choice is David Finkel’s The Good Soldiers. In The Good Soldiers, Pulitzer Prize winner David Finkel chronicles the lives ofthe 2-16 Rangers, the first military unit sent to Baghdad, Iraq as part of the 2007 “surge.” Finkel embeds with the soldiers, gainingperspectives that were often lost in the day-to-day reporting on the fighting. His widely-praised account was cited as one of the best booksof 2009 by many publications including The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. The Good Soldiers received the 2009 Helen BernsteinBook Award for excellence in journalism, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for exceptional nonfiction, and the Cornelius Ryan Award fromthe Overseas Press Club for best nonfiction book on international affairs.We will bring Mr. Finkel to campus this fall for the fourteenth annual Writer as Witness Colloquium on Wednesday, September 7 at 7:00p.m. in Bender Arena. He will address the American University community and meet with students and faculty to discuss the book. You canfind more information about the colloquium at: http://www.american.edu/cas/literature/cwp/witness.cfm.We recommend that you get this book as soon as possible and read it before you arrive at American University in August. Your professor foryour College Writing class expects you to bring it to your first class and will assume that you have read it and listened to David Finkel’scolloquium.