Synopses & Reviews
From ABC White House correspondent Martha Raddatz, the story of a brutal forty-eight-hour firefight that conveys in harrowing detail the effects of war not just on the soldiers but also on the families waiting back at home.
In April 2004, soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division were on a routine patrol in Sadr City, Iraq, when they came under surprise attack. Over the course of the next forty-eight hours, 8 Americans would be killed and more than 70 wounded. Back home, as news of the attack began filtering in, the families of these same men, neighbors in Fort Hood, Texas, feared the worst. In time, some of the women in their circle would receive the call-the notification that a husband or brother had been killed in action. So the families banded together in anticipation of the heartbreak that was certain to come.
The firefight in Sadr City marked the beginning of the Iraqi insurgency, and Martha Raddatz has written perhaps the most riveting account of hand-to-hand combat to emerge from the war in Iraq. This intimate portrait of the close-knit community of families Stateside the unsung heroes of the military distinguishes The Long Road Home from other stories of modern warfare, showing the horror, terror, bravery, and fortitude not just of the soldiers who were wounded and killed but also of the wives and children whose lives now are forever changed.
"Violent resistance in post-invasion Iraq kicked into high gear on April 4, 2004, when American troops in Sadr City faced a massive assault that claimed eight soldiers' lives and wounded more than 70 others. Raddatz, an Emmy-winning correspondent for ABC News, clearly aims to equal the storytelling in Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down in her account of the battle, and hits the mark with distinction. Extensive interviews with the commanding officers of the army's 1st Cavalry division and the soldiers pinned down in the streets provide a clear narrative of how U.S. troops, prepared for 'a babysitting mission,' found themselves in a bloodbath, as efforts to rescue the first soldiers fired upon met with even greater resistance from Mahdi militiamen who did not hesitate to use small children as frontline attackers. Heroic moments abound, like Casey Sheehan's volunteering to take another man's place on the rescue team, which resulted in his death. Raddatz touches upon the reaction of his mother, noted antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, but this is just one of many perspectives from families on the home front. The gripping account eschews politics and focuses squarely on the soldiers and their sacrifices." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The word 'sacrifice' is used a lot...Martha Raddatz shows what the word really means." Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco
"A truly great book about men, women, and raw courage." Diane Sawyer, ABC News
"A thoroughly gripping read." General David Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq
"Grit and high drama...searingly vivid evidence of the toll U.S. soldiers pay." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"A picture of American valor and unflagging commitment." Rocky Mountain News
"A poignant piece of work that will grab and hold you." St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"[An] important and profoundly moving story, one that hasn't been told enough, about the war in Iraq from the vantage of people who are fighting it." Seattle Times
"[Raddatz] takes pains to maintain the right tone, seamlessly weaving the bloody reality of the war front with the stories and worries of those left behind at home." Los Angeles Times
The First Cavalry Division came under surprise attack in Sadr City on April 4, 2004, now known as "Black Sunday." On the homefront, over 7,000 miles away, their families awaited the news for forty-eight hellish hours-expecting the worst. ABC News' chief correspondent Martha Raddatz shares remarkable tales of heroism, hope, and heartbreak.
About the Author
Martha Raddatz is one of our most respected news journalists. As ABC's Senior National Security Correspondent, she reported extensively from Iraq. A two-time Emmy Award winner, she was recently named Chief White House Correspondent for ABC News, and has appeared on Nightline, Larry King Live, The Charlie Rose Show, Washington Week, and many other news programs. The Long Road Home is her first book.