Twenty years ago, historian Andrew Carroll set out on a mission to preserve wartime letters as a way of honoring and remembering the experiences of American troops, veterans and their loved ones—in their own words.
Since then, Carroll has visited every state in the United States and 40 countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and collected more than 100,000 previously unpublished letters and emails written from the time of the American Revolution through the present day. These personal war-related correspondences are a vital record of the collective memory of the American people as witnessed and articulated by service members, veterans and their loved ones.
At 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, Carroll will be in PebbleCreek to share some of these extraordinary letters and discuss his most recent book, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. He will collect letters and other items at the lecture, which you can bring directly to the theater (it MUST have a donation form attached) or you may bring your correspondence to the LLL Center during office hours. (See LLL to Collect War Correspondence).
Carroll gave his entire letter collection to Chapman University in Orange, California, where it is housed in The Center for American War Letters. Carroll serves as the center’s founding director, and he is also a presidential fellow at the university. Along with preserving war-related letters, the center shares correspondences with museums, schools, film producers, scholars and others to remind current and future generations of the sacrifices made by American service members and their families.
Carroll edited several "New York Times" bestsellers, including War Letters and Behind the Lines. He also edited Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families. The book inspired the Emmy Award-winning documentary, “Operation Homecoming.”
Carroll is the author of the play, “If All the Sky Were Paper,” which has been performed coast to coast, including at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
A graduate of Columbia University, Carroll has received, among other accolades, the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Medal of Honor; The Order of Saint Maurice, bestowed by the National Infantryman’s Association; The Free Spirit Award, presented by the Freedom Forum; and the Chairman’s Medal from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest award given by the chairman of the NEA.
For more information see:
- The Center for American War Letters
- FAQ about the Center and what it collects
- Trailer for "If All the Sky Were Paper"
Military-themed books written and edited by Andrew Carroll:
- My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War
- War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondences from American Wars
- Grace Under Fire: Letters of Faith in Times of War
- Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front, in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families
- Behind the Lines: Powerful and Revealing American and Foreign War Letters – and One Man’s Search to Find Them