The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq

John Crawford

Published by Riverhead Hardcover, 2005
ISBN 10: 157322314X / ISBN 13: 9781573223140
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Synopsis: The only book about the war in Iraq by a soldier on the ground-destined to become a classic of war literature.

John Crawford joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college tuition-it had seemed a small sacrifice to give up one weekend a month and two weeks a year in exchange for a free education. But one semester short of graduating, and newly married, he was called to active duty-to serve in Kuwait, then on the front lines of the invasion of Iraq, and ultimately in Baghdad. While serving in Iraq, Crawford began writing short nonfiction stories, his account of what he and his fellow soldiers experienced in the war. At the urging of a journalist embedded with his unit, he began sending his pieces out of the country via an anonymous Internet e-mail account.

In a voice at once raw and immediate, Crawford's work vividly chronicles the daily life of a young soldier in Iraq-the excitement, the horror, the anger, the tedium, the fear, the camaraderie. All together, the stories slowly uncover something more: the transformation of a group of young college students-innocents-into something entirely different.

In the tradition of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, this haunting and powerful, brutal but compellingly honest book promises to become the lasting, personal literary account of the United States' involvement in Iraq.

From the Back Cover: "I picked up Crawford's book and with the first paragraph I was hooked. I put it down at the half way point so I would have the pleasure of reading the rest later. It's f***ing dynamite. A young man pushed beyond endurance. Is a good book worth what he saw, felt, experienced? There are some bad things people know and wish they didn't. And I can just see it all: Something very dark in the human heart and it cannot be vanquished. War after war. I finished the book thinking this is like Vietnam all over again. And like Michael Herr in Dispatches, Crawford really has it down. He's got it nailed."
-Thom Jones, author of Pugilist at Rest

"This may well be the last true story John Crawford ever tells, but it's enough. He has written a vital book. Vital because we need to read it, vital because it reveals some truths about the war in Iraq that we have not seen, the human truths of young men waging war, vital because it's honest, raw and alive. It's a heartbreaking and perversely beautiful book that should join Catch-22 and The Things They Carried as this generation's defining literary expression of men at war."
-James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard

The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell is a savage, gritty, and compelling work that reveals the true cost of the Iraqi Adventure, the price paid by young soldiers. It's not about heroism, but about heroic endurance against the desert, the war-torn neighborhoods, and the lies of their commanders, lies that will echo the rest of their lives. It's a major account of the Iraqi War, without pretense, without an axe to grind, and without complaint. A story about the heart of all wars - not politics, not principles, not money - your buddies. I was touched and overwhelmed.
-James Crumley, author of One to Count Cadence, The Last Good Kiss and The Right Madness

"This book blew me away. Powerful, haunting, hilarious, searingly honest, and shot through with all sorts of sorrow and rage and grief. It reminded me a little of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, but the truth is you've never read anything quite like this before. Mr. Crawford does a beautiful job of conveying the modern infantryman's torn heart, and our nation's war literature is richer by one outstanding book. Thank you, Mr.Crawford." -Gabe Hudson, author of Dear Mr. President

"Crawford's writing pulses with urgency, and, gloriously, his story of being an American soldier in Iraq is shattering and relentless. Most chillingly for us readers in our early twenties, Crawford's story universalizes the accidental way in which this war has affected us all." -David Amsden, author of Important Things That Don't Matter

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Title: The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An ...
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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