History Now 43 (Fall 2015)

Wartime Memoirs and Letters from the American Revolution to Vietnam

From the Editor

It is a rare war movie or novel that does not include a mail call scene. News from home, packages filled with cookies or favorite foods, drawings by sons or daughters folded in with letters from husbands, wives, or family members—these are the high point of the soldier’s day. Today, the contact might be through Skype or email or FaceTime on a smartphone, but the purpose is the same: to conquer the miles that separate those fighting a war from those waiting for them at home. For many people, it is the saved packet of these letters, or the diaries kept, or the memoirs that appear when peace returns that humanize the experience of a nation at war. For this, our 43rd issue of History Now, we asked scholars to look at war through these, its most intimate and personal records. The individual stories that emerge from these documents will, we believe, help us understand the meaning of war to those who lived through it.More »