Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families Hardcover – September 12, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.47 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This beautifully edited compilation of writings from modern warriors and their loved ones contains a wonderful range of voices and experience. Culled from an NEA call for the personal stories of service members and their families-a call that resulted in some ten thousand pages of material-the writing on display might make one think war transformed these untrained writers into fearless poets, ready and able to tackle the big topics: heartbreak, courage, sheer pluck and God-awful horror. Divided into six sections, including "Heading into Combat," the "Daily Grind" and "Life on the Home Front," Carroll has pulled together dozens of unique voices to achieve the "integrity and authenticity ... of a full spectrum of viewpoints and experiences." The results, a series of short, charged narratives that generally range from one to ten pages, are heartening and heartbreaking. In "Reclamation," a seasoned marine is ordered to clean a cemetery, "little more than a sunken acre of rotting garbage and donkey carcasses... a nasty task that seemed to have no direct benefit to the Iraqi people," which would become for him a pivotal experience in building hope and honoring sacrifice. In "Shallow Hands," a 27-year-old Marine attempts to explain the bitter divide between those who've fought and those who have not, while confessing, "I've been drinking steadily since coming back from the war." In the remarkable "Dover," readers go into the enormous military mortuary in Deleware that receives home-bound bodies, learning how one of the war's "politically sanitized phrases" like "the fallen hero" can reclaim its meaning. 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This history-making project records feelings about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan even as conflicts continue in those nations. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the project brought together some of the nation's most distinguished writers, including Tobias Wolff and Marilyn Nelson, and the men and women (and their spouses) fighting in the Middle East. The result is an incredibly wide range of opinions and emotions about U.S. policy in the Middle East, the war on terrorism, and the duties and responsibilities of citizens and the military. In 100 pieces of poetry, essays, letters, e-mails, plays, and journal entries, soldiers recall the awful thrill in the threat of killing or being killed, the deaths of buddies, and the cultural and psychological adjustments to a strange land. The book is divided into sections, including the war in the beginning, when 9/11 fueled certainty among the military; the campaigns to win the hearts and minds of Afghanis and Iraqis; the daily terror and boredom of war; efforts to sustain family life on the home front; and the joy and anxiety of homecoming. Intimate perspectives from the people on the frontlines. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (September 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400065623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400065622
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Leahy on September 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With the demise of the draft, and the decline in the size of the military, we now have about 1.5 million people in uniform and a population of 300 million. Military service has become something that someone else does. This is a book about those people - and how their service affects their wives, husbands, mothers and fathers.

This is not a political book. In it you can find something that supports your view of the war in Iraq - no matter what it is. And you can find something that rebukes that view.

It also is not a war book. Although some of the contributor's stories deal with combat, most deal with the ever-present danger of serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although 99% of the people might be nonhostile, they look exactly like that other 1% who would be absolutely delighted to kill you.

The stories also deal with the troops experience in helping to rebuild the destruction from a starting place of overwhelming poverty. These stories tell of the culture shock - on both the Iraqi side and the American side.

There also is plenty on the ironies of having both men and women in the military. A Marine and helicopter pilot wrote about how difficult it was to say goodbye to his wife - when she deployed to Iraq and he stayed home.

To help the military contributors, teams of professional writers went to military bases and conducted classes on writing. They weren't trying to slant the contributors' content, but to show them how to write and to encourage them to contribute their journals, letters and e-mails. The result was a flood of over 12,000 pages of source material.

The book really is a tribute to Andy being able to persuade the military hierarchy to allow him to have access to the troops.
Read more ›
1 Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Last year I had the privilege of serving on a distinguished editorial panel to select the entries in this unprecedented anthology. (I have no financial ties to this book.) Sifting through the submissions then deciding on the final slate was no easy task. Andy Carroll, Mr. "War Letters," did a fabulous job of sewing together the book, a much more difficult assignment.

The entries were moving and instantly gave me complete snapshots of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through 2004, sans the Iraqi perspective. Short stories, poems, letters, emails encapsulate the mindset of the soldiers and the families they left behind.

No journalist can capture the feelings of the men and women serving in harm's way the way they can themselves. Politics aside, these writings deserve to be widely read based on their own literary merits. This is a must-have collection for Americans to better understand the wars of our time.
Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This book knocked my socks off. I tried to read it on a plane, and I could not, because it kept sneaking up on me and devastating me with the simple raw emotion so simply told that you never question its authenticity - it just made the tears start flowing. Then the next story made me laugh out loud. These are real people who have had experiences that few would believe - and it seems so intimate - so personal - yet there it is - like they were writing to me. I recommend reading it with tissues nearby. In the end, the feeling I got was of being greatly uplifted - it made me soar - maybe with pride, because these Americans - not of any party affiliation - Just American, were telling great stories. This is a remarkable collection of stories that I highly recommend. Oh, and if I were you, and this becomes a bestseller, buy kleenex stock. - Buck
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I want to thank Amazon for the opportunity to share my thoughts after finishing this book at 4 am this morning. I have been reading 5-10 entries in this book each night for the last week. I purchased it in an effort to draw closer to and to better understand the experience of my youngest brother, SGT Jason Boesen, Army combat medic currently deployed to Iraq until July 2007, and my brother-in-law, Major Chris Hanna, recently returned from his deployment to Iraq in May 2006. During the course of reading this book, I laughed, I cried, I clenched my fingers around the pages at intervals, afraid to turn the pages for fear of what I might read next. I was enveloped in waves of pride, fear, dismay, grief, love, longing, frustration, and at times, guilt.

The soldiers who shared their insights, as well as those family members who included entries from their perspectives on the homefront gave the America public a gift in sharing their thoughts and emotions, unfiltered by media exposure. They contributed germane information to the communal American experience as we have watched this war take on a life of its own. It is now embedded in our American psyche, and through their stories, I have been better able to understand the experience of the Iraqi national citizens through the eyes of the soldiers serving them, and our country.

It is evident that the included essays were carefully selected and ultimately chosen for their core, all of which were well crafted and forthright. I am honored to have been one of the first people to have read this anthology, and I am not the same having taken in the "real time" experiences of the American military as included in this book.
Read more ›
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: world history