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Letters from Abu Ghraib Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Essay Press; First edition (July 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097911893X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979118937
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,738,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

What Joshua Casteel interrogates in Letters from Abu Ghraib is the very idea of liberty. For every enduring work of literature is an epistle from the prison of silence to the possibility of freedom. --From the foreword by Christopher Merrill

An astounding insider's look at the war in Iraq. Joshua Casteel is an astute observer, a superb writer and a man of deeply held moral and religious conviction. Letters from Abu Ghraib gives us entry into his personal journey from dedicated soldier and interrogator to determined conscientious objector. --Emily Mann, McCarter Theatre Artistic Director and Resident Playwright

Letters from Abu Ghraib shows us that good and evil are not absolutes, but rather points along the spectrum of decisions that we, as individuals and participants in institutions, all must face. --Kelly Dougherty, Executive Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War

About the Author

Joshua Casteel is 27 years old and currently a dual-MFA candidate at the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop and the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program. Since his discharge from Active Duty May 30th 2005 as a Conscientious Objector, Joshua has been invited to speak at over 50 venues worldwide, including the UK, Sweden, South Korea, as well as two national tours of Ireland.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Greg on August 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This little book could become essential reading about the Iraq war. We follow the progress of Joshua Casteel, in his own words, from idealistic soldier to disillusioned ex-interrogator. We watch as Casteel's belief in what he is doing is pitted against his profound religious beliefs, and wonder which will win out. Casteel argues with family members, talks religious theory & Derrida with friends, and reports back on what's happening on the base.
The only complaint I have about the book is that we don't always know who Casteel's emailing--who are "jflo" and "bex"?
Four stars instead of five because I don't yet know if this will be a classic, but a fast, riveting read. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Rose on December 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Once you pick the book up, you will not be able to set it back down. Although confusing at the beginning, it is very easy to catch on after a couple of pages into it. This book is a great way of looking at a vet's changes as a person while thrown into war, especially those views of a young religious man. The rhetoric used is amazing. I would definitely recommend it.
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By Elizabeth on July 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a memoir of a young man's descent into hell (read war) and how his psyche, persona, and soul change. It is a transformational journey of a gifted writer who is studying to be a man of the cloth or eventually wants to be and his struggle with the contradiction between his faith and the realities of total war.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ken on December 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
The narcissistic ramblings of a confused kid who isn't nearly as insightful as he thinks he is.

This extremely short diatribe contains virtually no information on the workings of Abu Ghraib, or even the daily experiences of life in a combat-zone. It's basically just some e-mails complaining that he doesn't like his job, without really going into the specific details of what his job required.

For those interested in what life was like for both the soldiers and detainees at Abu Ghraib, as well as thoughtful commentary on the overall conditions of Iraq, I highly recommend "Torture Central: E-mails From Abu Ghraib" instead.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K on December 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I got this book hoping to read a new perspective on Abu Ghraib. But all this was is a few emails that this guy sent his dad arguing things like whether the Bible in Romans 13 allows a christian to serve in the army (you'd think he'd have made up his mind before enlisting), and that wasn't very interesting because his dad's responses were left out, so i could only see one side of the argument.

this should definitely be in the religious section, because it doesn't really go into anything about Iraq. also, it shouldn't really be called a book, i've written term papers that are longer.
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