An American Dreamer

An American Dreamer by David Finkel


An immersive account of a man navigating the startling changes underway in contemporary America, from the Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Award-winning author of The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service.

Brent Cummings, an Iraq war veteran, has come home feeling he survived one war only to find himself in the midst of another one. The country he loves and defended for twenty-eight years seems to be unravelling in front of his eyes. Raised to believe in a vision of America that values fairness, honesty, and respect for others, Cummings is increasingly engulfed by the fear and anger sweeping through his beloved country as he tries to hold onto hope about America's future.

David Finkel, known for his unique, in-depth reporting, spent fifteen years immersed in Brent Cummings's world to create this intimate, acutely observed, and beautifully written portrait of a man's life, thoughts, and feelings as America becomes ever more divided. Cummings was one of the unforgettable figures in Finkel's The Good Soldiers, a book about which The New York Times stated, 'Finkel has made art out of a defining moment in history. You will be able to take this book down from the shelf years from now and say, "This is what happened. This is what it felt like."'

Like George Packer and Tracy Kidder, Finkel chronicles the everyday experiences of people, through moments of hope and despair, illuminating the struggles of many Americans today in a deeply fractured country at a time of crisis.

'In a lovely Atlanta suburb, two neighbours, both decent yet damaged men, find themselves on opposite sides of the fault line in a fracturing America. Finkel's account is poetic, profound and irresistibly page turning. It's The White Album for a new decade of division and dissolution.'
-Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Horse

'With An American Dreamer, David Finkel offers a third instalment on the story he began with The Good Soldiers and continued in Thank You for Your Service, and, as with those previous books, I was gutted, heartened, and grateful all over again. Gutted by the incalculable costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, both to the millions of individual combat soldiers and their families, as well as to the country as a whole; heartened by the basic human decency of so many of the people Finkel portrays; and, finally, grateful for the essential stories he tells in An American Dreamer. For anyone hoping to understand what has become of America these past twenty years, An American Dreamer and its companion books are indispensable.'
-Ben Fountain, bestselling author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

'An intimate look at American lives in fraught times ... A n immersive portrayal of contemporary America, from Election Day 2016 through Election Day 2020, through the eyes of Iraqi war veteran Brent Cummings, his family, and his neighbors in a town in Georgia ... A sharply observed depiction of a divided country.'
-Kirkus Reviews
Winter 2024 Book Frenzy (Online Only)
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