Voices of War: Stories of Service from the Home Front and the Front Lines

Overview

The experience of war has affected every generation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and every soldier has a story to tell. Since the year 2000, the Veteran's History Project, a new permanent department of the Library of Congress, has been collecting and preserving the memories of veterans. In addition to more than 50,000 recorded oral histories, the Veteran's History Project has amassed thousands of letters, photographs, scrapbooks, and invaluable mementos from ...
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Overview

The experience of war has affected every generation in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and every soldier has a story to tell. Since the year 2000, the Veteran's History Project, a new permanent department of the Library of Congress, has been collecting and preserving the memories of veterans. In addition to more than 50,000 recorded oral histories, the Veteran's History Project has amassed thousands of letters, photographs, scrapbooks, and invaluable mementos from nearly a century of warfare.

In the first book to showcase the richness and depth of this collection, Voices of War tells a compelling, emotional, history of the experience of war, weaving together veterans' stories from in World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. The stories are organized thematically into sections-from signing up to coming home, generations of veterans recall individual experiences that together tell the extraordinary story of America at war. Letters, photographs, sketches and paintings enrich the compelling oral history.

Voices of War is sure to provoke memories and reflection and truly honor the sacrifices made by millions of veterans who have fought to defend our freedom.

Introduction by former Senator Max Cleland and an Afterword by Senator Chuck Hagel, both of whom are Vietnam veterans.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chosen from among the more than 30,000 oral histories collected by the Library of Congress's Veterans History Project, these first-person impressions of some 60 men and women who took part in the U.S.'s most salient 20th-century conflicts-WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm-come together to form a meaningful narrative. The object, editor Weiner notes, was "not to cover every engagement in each war, but rather to offer an impressionistic and intensely felt portrait of the ground-level soldier, slogging through the mud of France, the jungles of the Pacific, or the desert of Kuwait," and many other places in between. The book contains scores of brief entries organized by topic ("Under Fire"; "Coming Home") and war, enhanced by 175 color photos. Sometimes the flow constricts as narrators shift from doughboys in European trenches to Kevlar-helmeted infantrymen in the Kuwaiti desert, but the editors have chosen their testifiers well. As with any oral history, what we get are personal reflections, not historical syntheses. And with a foreword by Rep. Ron Kind, an introduction by former Sen. Max Cleland and an afterword by Sen. Chuck Hagel, there is plenty of veteran elected representation here, too. (Nov. 11) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This is the first book to showcase the oral histories collected by the Veteran's History Project, the Library of Congress's nationwide effort to collect and preserve the stories not only of war veterans, but also of those who served in support of the frontline troops. The book encompasses the full military experience-from first enlisting (or draft) to the excitement of returning home to civilian life. The personal accounts cover the major conflicts of the 20th century, from World War I to the Persian Gulf War, and include letters, diaries, and journals. The chapters are nicely arranged to show the commonalities of military experience, e.g., basic training, daily life, combat, the home front, and returning home. The inclusion of the stories of women, both in uniform and on the home front, rounds out the book nicely, and the almost 200 photographs bring the stories to life. Recommended.-David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792242048
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,057,575
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

The Library of Congress, located in Washington, D.C., is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. The Library's mission is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2004

    War and Americans Spanning a Century

    VOICES OF WAR is the product of the Veterans History Project form the Library of Congress. It is a book of letters, notes, memoirs, paintings, drawings, photographs, and other memorabilia from World War I through World War II through the Korean War through the Vietnam War to the Persian Gulf War. The quality of paper is the highest obtainable for books, the photograph and art reproductions are superb, and the graphic layout of the letters and memos and interviews are excellent. So as a book it ranks as an Art book.But that is only the superficial gloss that binds this body of thoughts that have survived a century of warfare. Here are the responses of men and women who volunteered or were drafted, the families and sweethearts left on American soil to keep vigil for those who would return and those who would not. Images of entertainers such as Bob Hope and Martha Raye and the countless others who brought some sense of credibility to the 'cause' worth fighting for are juxtaposed with photos of buddies, and backhome families, and of posters and art that accompanied these wars.The most impressive portion of this book is the interviews conducted by volunteers, young men and women who listened and recorded countless hours of reminiscences from veterans, nurses, families - the spectrum of those stamped with wars' tattoos. Some read as though script for Audie Murphy films: some read with hidden pain and permanent wounds like those of British poet Wilfrid Owen.And in the end this book simply bears witness to the horror of the history of WAR. How timely for this book to arrive on the shelves when yet again we as a nation that should have learned from history are capturing more material for, unfortunately, another volume. When will we learn? Perhaps if everyone reads this excellent book, there may be hope. Grady Harp, Veterans' Day 2004

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