Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam

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by Bernard Edelman (ed.) for The New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission

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New from ReAnimus Press! The bestselling book and basis for the Emmy award-winning documentary (letters read by Robert DeNiro, Robert Downey Jr., Robin Williams...) — is now available in ebook edition!

"An overwhelmingly eloquent book of the purest and most simple writing on Vietnam."
—David Halberstam

Decades after the end of the Vietnam War, Dear America allows us to witness the war firsthand through the eyes of the men and women who served in Vietnam. In this collection of more than 200 letters, they share their first impressions of the rigors of life in the bush, their longing for home and family, their emotions over the conduct of the war, and their ache at the loss of a friend in battle. Poignant in their rare honesty, the letters from Vietnam are "riveting,... extraordinary by [their] very ordinariness... for the most part, neither deep nor philosophical, only very, very human" (Los Angeles Times). Revealing the complex emotions and daily realities of fighting in the war, these close accounts offer a powerful, uniquely personal portrait of the many faces of Vietnam's veterans.

From Publishers Weekly:

This is a poignant collection of letters and poems, mostly to loved ones back home, written by soldiers while serving in Vietnam. Ordered roughly by a typical GI's year of service (arrival "in-country," leave, etc.), the selections range from brave and philosophical to raging and grief-stricken. "Last Letters," the chapter containing missives sent by men shortly before their deaths, is particularly haunting. "This book provides valuable insight into what 'grunts' went through," PW stated. Major ad/promo.

"Not a history book, not a war novel.... Dear America is a book of truth."
Boston Globe

"Dear America is painful, but it must be difficult to be realistic and entertaining about war.... Reading it, I felt I was listening to the voices of the men and women who lived and fought in Vietnam."
Baltimore Sun

"Dear America is more than correspondence from homesick GIs. It is a collective letter to the nation and its government, a plea that asks: Why did you do this to your children? To America? For the sake of our country, don't let this happen again."
—San Francisco Chronicle

"Dear America tells of an ache as ancient as time—adolescents off to war with high expectations, who soon change greatly. Ambiguities abound—from pain, disillusionment and sorrow for dead comrades to a hard-earned measure of individual strength and survival."
Washington Post Book World

"Here is the sad and beautiful countermelody of truth, audible at last, now that we have trashed the drums and cymbals of yet another senseless war."
Kurt Vonnegut

"What makes this book special is its honesty. The letters are real; there is no embellishment. You keep turning pages because you're finding out—for the first time—who our Vietnam soldiers were and are. They are the many voices of America."
—Sydney Schanberg, author of The Death and Life of Dith Pran, basis of the award-winning film The Killing Fields

"In [a] special issue of Newsweek, Gloria Emerson suggested that the politicians who conducted the war be chained to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington and forced to read, slowly, every name on it aloud. They should also be required to read these letters [in Dear America], slowly, one by one."
—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Dear America comes closest to achieving what the various oral histories have been reaching for: the immediate, poignant, and gloriously heroic voice of the American serviceman in Vietnam."
—Joe Klein, author of Payback and Primary Colors

"Dear America is one of the most moving books I have read about any war, including Vietnam... a privilege to read... it is truly a magnificent accomplishment."
—General Bruce Palmer, Jr., author of The 25-Year War

"Bernard Edelman, a Vietnam veteran and member of the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission, has exercised tact, restraint, and skill in editing this collection.... Though many of these letters evoke tears, Edelman has avoided sentimentality in favor of immediacy, vivid details, and insights.... [Dear America] is a work of art."
—San Jose Mercury News

"Listen to these authentic voices of the Vietnam war. They come to us after the journalists, the generals, and the politicians have had their say. No full understanding of the most disastrous foreign war in American history can be complete without reading these letters from the GIs to their loved ones back home."
Peter Arnett, Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnam correspondent


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