Best-selling author to share war letters from U.S. troops

contact: Valorie Juergens
| WMU News


KALAMAZOO--Best-selling American author, editor and activist Andrew Carroll will share correspondence from U.S. soldiers in American wars during a visit to the campus of Western Michigan University.

Carroll's talk is set for 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, in Brown Auditorium in Schneider Hall and is sponsored by the Department of Military Science in the Haworth College of Business and the University Center for the Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. The event is free and open to the public.

Carroll's presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period, and he will sign books during a reception at 3 p.m. Reservations for the talk can be made by contacting (269) 387-5050. Parking is available in the nearby Fetzer Center parking lot.

Carroll is the editor of several New York Times best-sellers, including "War Letters" and "Behind the Lines." He also edited, on a pro bono basis, "Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families." The book inspired the film "Operation Homecoming," which was nominated for an Oscar and won an Emmy for best documentary.

In 1998, Carroll founded the Legacy Project, an all-volunteer initiative that honors veterans and active-duty troops by preserving their wartime letters and emails. Carroll has traveled to all 50 states and more than 40 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, to seek out letters, and he has collected, to date, an estimated 85,000 previously unpublished correspondences from every war in U.S. history.

In 2001, Carroll revived the "Armed Services Editions," which are pocket-sized editions of best-selling books originally distributed to service members overseas during World War II. He worked with major publishers to reissue them, and he has distributed a quarter of a million free ASEs to U.S. troops around the world, including thousands of books he personally handed out in Baghdad and Kabul.

Carroll's efforts have been profiled on "NBC Nightly News," FOX News, CNN, PBS, The History Channel, NPR, "CBS Sunday Morning," "The Today Show," "Good Morning America" and "Nightline," and he was featured as a Person of the Week on ABC's "World News Tonight." Carroll has also been a contributing editor and writer to numerous publications, including the New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time and National Geographic.

Carroll's interest in letters began in 1989 after his home in Washington, D.C., burned down. Although no one was hurt in the fire, all of Carroll's possessions, including his letters, were destroyed. The loss prompted Carroll to realize the value of letters and how important it is to preserve them for posterity.

More recently, Carroll founded the Here Is Where campaign in association with National Geographic Traveler. The project is an all-volunteer effort to photograph and document historic locations in the United States.

Carroll graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 1993, and, among other accolades, he is the recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution's Medal of Honor; The Order of Saint Maurice, bestowed by the National Infantryman's Association; and the Free Spirit Award, presented by the Freedom Forum.

Carroll lives in Washington, D.C.