Brinkley was the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense and Director of the Task Force for Economic and Stability Operations for five years, tasked for reviving Iraq and Afghanistan's economies. For injuries received in a car bomb attack in Baghdad in 2010, he was awarded the Joint Outstanding Civilian Service Medal and the Secretary of Defense-Defense of Freedom Medal. He has been profiled in Businessweek, Fortune, New York Times, Washington Post, Der Spiegel, and The Economist, and has pieces published in Newsweek and Military Review.
- Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
- The Monkey Wrench Gang
- Jack Kerouac: Road Novels 1957-1960 (Loa #174): On the Road / The Dharma Bums / The Subterraneans / Tristessa / Lonesome Traveler / Journal Selections
- Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967
- The Reagan Diaries: Extended Selections