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What Others Are Saying
"Andrew Carroll has given America a priceless treasure. These letters are intimate, deeply personal portraits of the courage, sacrifice and sense of duty that made this country. They remind us that greatness is borne on the shoulders of the ordinary men and women who love their country and each other." Tom Brokaw
"In the sweep of history the experience of the lone soldier is often lost, but in this breathtaking collection the individual voices of the men and women who have served this nation come to life with a power and an eloquence that is both gripping and unforgettable. I can think of no better way to understand the horrors of war than to read the words of those who were caught in its grasp, and these extraordinary letters offer some of the most dramatic, eyewitness accounts of war imaginable. Quite simply, this is one of the greatest, most riveting books of War Letters I have ever read." Stephen E. Ambrose
"These War Letters are deeply moving, more revelatory and more powerful than any dispatch from the front. It's the truly felt history of what war is all about." Studs Terkel
"Andrew Carroll has assembled a collection of previously unpublished letters that run the gamut of wartime emotion.... An excellent compilation that I enjoyed reading very much and believe you will, too." John Glenn
"It was a war letter that moved me to write Flags of Our Fathers. A letter my dad wrote four days after he helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima. My father honored his country. Andrew Carroll honors us all with his gift to the nation of the superb War Letters." James Bradley, son of "Doc" Bradley
About The Book
In 1998, Andrew Carroll founded the Legacy Project with the goal of remembering Americans who have served this nation in wartime by seeking out and preserving their letters. Since then, more than 50,000 War Letters discovered in basements, attics, scrapbooks, and old trunks have poured in from around the country. The best of these letters are assembled in this extraordinary collection, offering unprecedented insight into the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and even the fighting in Somalia and the Balkans.
Featured here are dramatic accounts of combat written immediately after the most ferocious battles American troops have faced; poignant expressions of love by homesick husbands and sweethearts; humorous anecdotes and gripes about insufferable conditions; thoughtful reflections on the nature of warfare; and perhaps most devastating, a startling number of last letters penned just hours or days before the sender was killed.
War Letters is a testament to the heroic contributions and astonishing literary voices of common soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors, as well as war nurses, journalists, spies, and chaplains. There are also previously unpublished letters by such legendary figures as William T. Sherman, Clara Barton, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernie Pyle, Douglas MacArthur, Julia Child, Dwight Eisenhower, Norman Schwarzkopf, and our nation's first black general, Benjamin O. Davis Sr.
These historic letters capture the full fury and intensity of warfare, and they reveal in vivid detail what the servicemen and women of America have experienced and sacrificed on the front lines. War Letters is a lasting tribute to those who have fought for this country, and a celebration of the enduring power and lyricism of personal letters.
About the Editor
Andrew Carroll, 32, is the founder and director of the Legacy Project, a national, all-volunteer organization that works to honor and remember those who have served this nation in wartime by seeking out and preserving their letters.
Carroll is also the editor of the national bestseller Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters (Kodansha, 1997; Broadway, 1999); 101 Great American Poems (Dover, 1998); and, with Donald MacLean, Songs for the Open Road: Poems of Travel & Adventure (Dover, 1999).
Carroll's interest in letters began in December 1989 after his home in Washington, D.C. burned to the ground. Although no one was seriously hurt in the blaze, all of his possessions, including his letters, were destroyed. The loss prompted Carroll to realize the value of letters and how important it is to save them before they're lost forever. The Legacy Project has become a personal mission for Carroll, and he is not paid for his efforts. (All of his earnings from War Letters, including the advance, are being donated to nonprofit organizations, primarily those that focus on veterans and their families.)
Carroll is also the executive director of the American Poetry & Literacy (APL) Project, a national, nonprofit organization he co-founded with the late Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky in 1993. The APL Project distributes hundreds of thousands of free poetry books a year throughout the country to promote literacy. Next year the APL Project will be working with the 2002 Cultural Olympiad of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee to distribute books of international poetry at the Olympic Winter Games of 2002.