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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 2004, the National Endowment for the Arts organized a series of writing workshops, led by prominent authors, to encourage U.S. troops and their families to record their experiences and reflections on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The result is this extraordinary volume of first-hand letters, poems, journals, memoirs, and e-mails from the men and women directly involved in battle and their families back home.

This uniquely personal addition to the long tradition of war literature covers the entire arc of a soldier's journey, from those first experiences of combat, encounters with Iraqis and Afghans, and the humor and boredom of the daily grind, to the physical and emotional toll of battle, the struggle of loved ones back home to carry on, and finally the return and integration back into American life.

Featured on the cover of the New Yorker and in various print and TV news programs, this rich historical document will preserve the stories of American troops at a crucial moment in American history.

Edited by Andrew Carroll. Read by Sandi Austin, Joe Barrett, David Birney, Stephen Bonnell, Richard Brewer, Scott Brick, Emily Janice Card, Orson Scott Card, Andrew Carroll, Ross Cohen, Gabrielle De Cuir, Harlan Ellison, Robert Forster, Kirby Heyborne, Stephen Hoye, Arte Johnson, Stephen Lang, Rex Linn, Kathe Mazur, John Rubinstein, Stefan Rudnicki, Judith Smiley, Mirron E. Willis, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Stephanie Zimbalist.

©2006 Southern Arts Federation; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc

Critic Reviews

  • 2006 Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award
  • Audie Award Finalist, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2007

"This beautifully edited compilation of writings from modern warriors and their loved ones contains a wonderful range of voices and experience....This collection provides a truly multi-faceted and agenda-free look at the ongoing conflict from the Americans who lived it, and deserves a large audience." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall

Should Be Required Reading For All Americans

This book is a compilation of writings by service men and women who have fought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their family members. It does not take any particular political viewpoint, including authors who support the wars and those who do not. It does, however, provide a very thoughtful "insider's view" of what it means to be in the middle of the war. It gave me a much better understanding of the war than any newspaper article, or even from being deployed to Iraq myself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Wm.
  • Concrete, WA, United States
  • 07-13-07

Don't pass on this

No words can describe the experience of listeing to this compilation of works. You must experience it for yourself.
One word of caution is the language in some of the peices, crude but understandable under the conditions.
My bigest complaint is not with the book, but with Audble's insistance on inserting their "Audible hopes you have enjoyed this program" at the end. It seames totaly inapropriate for this book and many other books based on true life where there is no "happy" ending.
Don't get me wrong, there are many upbuilding stories but, I can only imagine how a mother or sister or brother of one of the "Heros" of this conflict would feel hearing that blurb at the conclusion of the download.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • Beverly, NJ, USA
  • 05-08-08

Propaganda

Typical American propaganda! Starts off with a 30 minute preface stating (almost like a broken record) that it is fair and has no hidden motive although it is a Government project (and paid for by Boeing.

After drilling this in it immediately goes into two graphic accounts of the 9/11 attacks. Firstly people jumping from the towers and then a graphic account of the attack on the Pentagon (complete with finding the AA logo on the "plane").

After the two moving 9/11 pieces the Iraq and Afghanistan pieces start with no justification of why the 9/11 pieces were used at all. The spin used prior to the Iraq invasion was weapons of mass destruction, which as we know turned out to be unfounded. This Government project is simply trying to unfairly link Iraq to the 9/11 attacks.

To some it up in one word, Propaganda!

1 of 4 people found this review helpful