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The author of World War II’s “War Letters” column, which concludes this issue  after a six-year run, spotlights self-published books deserving of greater attention:

An Alcove in the Heart: WWII Letters of Sidney Diamond to Estelle Spero

Estelle Spero Lynch (2004)

“Of the almost 100,000 war letters I’ve read, Sid Diamond’s are among the most poetic, humorous, and poignant. Estelle, who was engaged to Sid during World War II, has done a wonderful job of assembling and introducing Sid’s best letters, and their love story is one that readers will never forget.”

Bedpan Commando: The Story of a Combat Nurse During World War II

June Wandrey (1989)

“This autobiography, told mostly through June’s letters, is a tribute not only to a true American hero, which June most certainly was, but to all wartime nurses. The book offers an in-depth look at what these extraordinary individuals have done under the most grueling and often dangerous circumstances.”

Of War & Weddings: A Legacy of Two Fathers

Jerry Yellin (1995)

“Jerry was a combat pilot with the U.S. Army Air Corps, and Of War & Weddings is about his life during and after the war. The book contains only a handful of letters, but they are part of a powerful story that every American should read.”

Beyond the War- Wounded: A Legacy of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Captain Ed “Riv” Hrivnak (2013)

“Based on journals and e-mails that Ed wrote during the hostilities, this is one of the best books to come out of the war. It brings attention to the immeasurable sacrifices made by this generation of troops, men and women as brave and selfless as any who have come before them. Ed himself is proof of that.”

 Andrew Carroll is the author of the New York Times bestseller War Letters and Here Is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History, published in May by Crown. In 1998 Carroll founded the Legacy Project as way to encourage Americans to preserve personal correspondence from all our nation’s wars. He is donating his 90,000-letter collection to Chapman University in California, where he will direct the new Center for American War Letters. Carroll will be a regular contributor to our sister publication American History beginning with its October 2013 issue.


Originally published in the August 2013 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.