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War Letters
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Andrew Carroll, 31, is the editor of the national bestseller LETTERS OF A NATION. He is also the executive director of the American Poetry & Literacy Project, a nonprofit organisation he cofounded with the late Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, that distributes free books in public places throughout the country to promote literacy.

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War letters you've never seen, solicited by Carroll for his Legacy Project. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Carroll founded the war letter-collecting Legacy Project when his Washington, D.C., home burned down in 1990, taking his family letters with it. A "Dear Abby" announcement of the project led to 50,000 responses. Now, at 31, Carroll follows up 1999's bestselling Letters of a Nation (which spans 400 years and myriad walks of life) with this cull of dispatches. Chapters are limited to the Civil War, WWI, WWII, "The Korean War & The Cold War" and "The Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, Somalia, & Bosnia" making for an incomplete survey of American wars. Of the more than 150 letters, three are from African-Americans, though Carroll remarks in an afterword on efforts to locate more. Perhaps most striking is how many letters are written by the soon-to-be-dead, or concern the death of a close relative; any reaction to them other than personal sympathy seems impossible. Yet the power of these voices from various fronts including an Asian woman held in an American internment camp is undeniable, and the sentiments and observations they record have a compelling immediacy. (On-sale: May 15) Forecast: Carroll was the subject of a New York Times feature in 1994 for his role in cofounding (with the late poet Joseph Brodsky) the American Poetry and Literacy Project, which put books of poems in motel rooms alongside Bibles. His media experience should make his seven-city author tour and appearance on PBS's American Experience (on November 11) successful. Expect strong sales and a showing on bestseller lists for the weeks before and after Memorial Day. Browsers could be reminded that the New Yorker published a selection of the letters in January 2000. All author earnings will be donated to nonprofit organizations. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

James Bradley It was a letter that moved me to write "Flags of Our Fathers." A letter my dad wrote four days after he helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima. My father honored his country. And Andrew Carroll honors us all with his gift to the nation of the superb "War Letters."

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