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BEHIND THE LINES: Powerful and Revealing American and Foreign War Letters—and One Man's Search to Find Them

Andrew Carroll, Author . Scribner $30 (496p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5616-2

After it was released in June of 2001, Carroll's War Letters shot onto bestseller lists as the U.S. entered its first major war in 10 years. That collection selected 150 letters from 50,000 Carroll received after a Dear Abby mention of his Legacy Project, founded in 1998 to preserve soldiers' letters home; the book ranged from the Civil War to Bosnia. This follow-up reaches from the American Revolution to the war in Iraq and offers 200 letters along with 72 b&w photos and illustrations. All the letters were written "during major American wars," but not necessarily by soldiers or by Americans; Carroll culled many of them globe-trotting through 35 countries, from Poland to Iraq, over the past year (he tells the story of his journey in a moving introduction). As for the letters themselves, Carroll has made the very wise editorial decision of printing them as they were written, with misspellings, odd line breaks and regional references intact; letters in translation reproduce idioms and distinctive grammatical turns word for word. The letters are, almost without exception, arresting in their earnestness, sincerity and passion, and diverse in their sentiments—brave, fearful, amorous, angry, resigned, conniving, unbalanced, stoical. The result is captivating in its immediacy. Short head notes provide succinct context, but most speak for themselves. 50-state author tour. (May 10)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 00/00/0000
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 450 pages - 978-0-09-190340-4
Hardcover - 450 pages - 978-0-09-190339-8
Paperback - 501 pages - 978-0-7432-5617-9
Book - 978-0-7435-5198-4
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-0-7432-8458-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-4201-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-4200-5
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