The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Familyby Martha Raddatz
The First Cavalry Division came under surprise attack in Sadr City on April 4, 2004, now known as "Black Sunday." On the homefront, over 7,000 miles away, their families awaited the news for forty-eight hellish hours-expecting the worst. ABC News' chief correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope, and heartbreak. See more details below
The First Cavalry Division came under surprise attack in Sadr City on April 4, 2004, now known as "Black Sunday." On the homefront, over 7,000 miles away, their families awaited the news for forty-eight hellish hours-expecting the worst. ABC News' chief correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope, and heartbreak.
The Washington Post
The New York Times
Violent resistance in post-invasion Iraq kicked into high gear on April 4, 2004, when American troops in Sadr City faced a massive assault that claimed eight soldiers' lives and wounded more than 70 others. Raddatz, an Emmy-winning correspondent for ABC News, clearly aims to equal the storytelling in Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Downin her account of the battle, and hits the mark with distinction. Extensive interviews with the commanding officers of the army's 1st Cavalry division and the soldiers pinned down in the streets provide a clear narrative of how U.S. troops, prepared for "a babysitting mission," found themselves in a bloodbath, as efforts to rescue the first soldiers fired upon met with even greater resistance from Mahdi militiamen who did not hesitate to use small children as frontline attackers. Heroic moments abound, like Casey Sheehan's volunteering to take another man's place on the rescue team, which resulted in his death. Raddatz touches upon the reaction of his mother, noted antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, but this is just one of many perspectives from families on the home front. The gripping account eschews politics and focuses squarely on the soldiers and their sacrifices. (Mar. 1)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Many mark April 4, 2004, as the beginning of the full-fledged Iraq insurgency. On that day, a platoon of U.S. soldiers engaged in helping the part of Baghdad called Sadr City deal with horrible sanitation problems and found themselves attacked by hundreds, if not thousands, of members of the Mahdi Militia, a creation of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The first thing the soldiers noticed was an eerie absence of people on the street. Then they began to take withering fire from rooftops, windows, and doors-seemingly from everywhere. The platoon, as it sought its way out, found that the streets were strewn with all variety of junk meant to impede their escape. The irony of the battle sank deep into the minds of the soldiers, who viewed themselves as helpers of the populace, not their enemy, and who had liberated these same Shi'ites from Saddam Hussein. As the day dragged on, the Americans were appalled when organized mobs of women and children marched down the alley from both directions, camouflaging rank upon rank of militiamen. The soldiers had no choice but to fire into the crowds. Hundreds of Iraqis died, as did eight Americans, including Casey Sheehan, whose mother, Cindy, has become one of the most prominent antiwar activists. Raddatz, a well-known journalist and an award-winning correspondent for ABC News, interweaves battle vignettes with vividly written descriptions of the people on the home front-wives, children, mothers and fathers, and fellow soldiers. The author's declarative and journalistic writing style brings a blunt, matter-of-fact passion to the descriptions of the soldiers and their families. This book is a triumph of description and horror; Raddatz studiouslyavoids any political carping, letting the events tell their own story, however one wants to interpret them. Narrator Joyce Bean is skilled and effective as well; she uses subtle changes in accent and tone to individualize the personalities as they stride across the audio landscape. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- 18 Years
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Meet the Author
Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to being an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, she has been nominated multiple times for a prestigious Audie Award, including for Good-bye and Amen by Beth Gutcheon.
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