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Shrapnel in the Heart: Letters and Remembrances from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Kindle Edition]

Laura Palmer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.92
You Save: $5.08 (34%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

For the first time, one book gives voice to the haunting, painful, tender, and healing tales of those who lost so much in America's least popular war.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Thousands of letters and messages have been left at the Vietnam Memorial Wall since its dedication in 1982, many preserved by the National Park Service as part of a planned museum collection. Palmer, who worked in Saigon as a reporter in the early '70s, found and interviewed many of the people who left them. The resulting book combines the messages with the comments of those who wrote them, and one would have to look far to find a work that stirs deeper emotions. Reading it is a cathartic experience rather than a depressing one. The bodies of the fallen are buried elsewhere, but as far as the surviving family members, friends and comrades are concerned, the spirits of the dead seem to dwell in and around the monument itself. Shrapnel in the Heart is in its own way as awesome a memorial as the wall. Photos. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA Journalist Palmer, who covered the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon, personalizes the tragic loss of young Americans killed in two decades of fighting our least popular war. She weaves together interviews with par ents, siblings, wives, children, home town friends, and battle field buddies, all coming to grips, if not peace, with the deaths of loved ones. Moved by let ters left at the Vietnam Veterans Me morial in Washington, D.C., Palmer opens a window on the soldier's life in Vietnam and the sorrow, anger, de spair, and keen loss of the survivors. Her account adds another piece to the Vietnam puzzle being explored in re cent films and in books such as Edel man's Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (Pocket, 1986). Alice Conlon, University of Houston
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1106 KB
  • Print Length: 269 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0394759885
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (September 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043EWVKQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,111 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish all young people had to read this! April 12, 2000
Format:Paperback
I read this book for a college history course and until now have thought very little about war, military, or world politics. Young people today rarely understand or realize what goes with becoming a soldier. This book gives real images of the devastation war brings from the people who lived through the tragedy of losing their loved ones. It opens our eyes to things we just shouldn't close our eyes on.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best January 15, 2002
Format:Paperback
Shrapnel In the Heart is a book to be read by everyone no matter what generation they were born in. Shrapnel In The Heart is a book that has letters and rememberances left behind at the Vietnam War Memorial. Some of the letters tell the story about the people behind the letter. The stories are sad, but the courage of the men and women is a true inspiration. The people written about in this book were extrememly young (18, 19, 20) and it seems like they died in vain. But through their letters that were left behind it is easy to see that these young men knew their duty and refused to shirk from it. These men and women are true heroes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once you start reading, you won't put it down. July 18, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I recently bought this book while visting Arlington National Cemetary. It made me undertand more about what was going on here in the United States with families only knowing things about the Vietnam War from what they saw on television. I just could not put this book down for one second. This book even made me cry many times and made me swollow hard tears. We musn't forget those who went over there to fight a war our government tried to win. We should remember them, whether they came home or not.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I first read Shrapnel in the Heart shortly after its release, having bought it at the Vietnam Vets Memorial. I cannot believe that I was in college, and then newly married when all of Vietnam was going on and I was virtually untouched. I only know of one person "on the wall" and he was a college classmate, commissioned on Graduation day and killed 10 months later. Now I have two sons, graduates of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, one a Marine in Artillery and I cannot imagine war, or their never coming home. One of the dead soldier's stories always haunts me... the boy was several weeks shy of his nineteenth birthday and he hadn't even gotten his wisdom teeth yet. How sad to be his mother, sister, friend, fellow soldier. It is a sad accounting of some of America's darkest days.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shrapnel in the Heart October 31, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Buy this book and change your outlook on Nam forever. If you ever valued the boy next door, your son , or daughter you will want this book as a bed side companion to re-read again and again. Each story is a man lost, a mother in pain, a comrade who mourns . It paints the picture that we will be reliving for the men of Afganistan/Irag times. The book will be relevent for time immortal. At,6'3 and 320 lbs of old warrior ,
this book took me back and immersed me into the turbulent past times of my life. To damn up my tears , it would have been like holding back a hurricane because of the imagery in this book . This book is well worth the price. I bought it and will continue to buy it again and again until all those I know have a copy. America should emerse itself in the books wisdom about ours soldiers and society. We need to learn to drop the idea that all we are told is the truth and scrutinize our leaders more closely. Thanks Ms Palmer for this great and timely book of truth. Herb, I knew you at Lackland, I hope you have found peace.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A letter I wrote to Laura Palmer after years of reading her book again and again... Dear Ms. Palmer:

"Shrapnel in the Heart" keeps everything in my life in perspective. Green Berets aren't supposed to cry, but we do. I cannot read your book without an onset of tears. But crying is a skill I acquired in Vietnam and your book takes me back.

I quoted two short letters from your book in our employee newsletter in hopes that others would realize that things could be, and have been much worse. Many of my employees cried too.

A couple of years ago I left a bloody Viet Cong flag at the wall with a note of apology. The note wasn't much, but getting to the wall was harder for me than Jump School, Ranger School and Special Forces training combined.

Please, do it again. Capture the thoughts left at the wall from 1987 forward. You started this thing, now it must be continued. Your "Shrapnel in the Heart" is my psychotherapist. Write another so that some other vet can have a life saving catharsis.

Thanks for soothing the pain over the years.

Roy Fouts
President and CEO
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So touching it must be read in small doses! April 9, 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Many books about Viet Nam focus on the military person - - this book not only shares the grief of the wives and mothers left behind, but the feelings of loss felt by brothers and sisters - - it took me months to get through the introduction. The focus of the book is on items left by families at the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington D.C. - - I highly recommend the book, but be prepared: It WILL pull at your heart strings
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You had to be there September 6, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Only those that had the wonderful opportunity to be there
would understand the depth of the hurt that was so carefully
described in the volume.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good cry
Cry, cry, cry. I didn't pay much attention to history in school. Have now read about the Civil War, WWI and WWII. Such insight. Read more
Published 1 month ago by im17pam
5.0 out of 5 stars Shrapnel in the Heart - Comments from relatives about their deceased...
If you have any connections to the Viet Nam era, a must read. Ms Palmer is first assigned to Nam after the war for a news report and she sees that street vendors everywhere have... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jet Ace
5.0 out of 5 stars items represent lives/memories
So touching to read the stories about the lives lived and lost in the Vietnam war. All those items left at the wall mean so much more than you might believe. Read more
Published 4 months ago by jubu
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for America
This book changed the way I look at war and the cost of it. Ms. Palmer's book should be required reading for every American. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mark Montalbano
5.0 out of 5 stars Wartime Sucks
This book is very compelling. I spent a lot of the time while reading either being mad at the government or crying. The soldieres were just babies. Read more
Published 6 months ago by a1960junebug
5.0 out of 5 stars SHRAPNEL in the HEART
I have bought many copies of Shrapnel in the Heart over the years for my students and for friends. It is an amazing book that has you crying with the first sentence and shedding... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Shrapnel in the Heart
This book gives great insight into the effects of the Vietnam war on people who served and on their relatives. Read more
Published 8 months ago by John T. Kline
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
As a reader and veteran (1971) the stories in this book came close to my heart. I don't often think of those days but the memories are there after all the years. Read more
Published 14 months ago by US Veteran
5.0 out of 5 stars Womderful
This is a wonderful book. I bought it some time ago and have read and re-read it time and again. While it tugs at the heart it shows just what this country is made of and just... Read more
Published 21 months ago by JOHN FRANCIS
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written
This book is very well written. It took me quite a while to get through it because it is so very real and so very sad. I commend Laura Palmer for writing this book. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ali
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