Jennifer Reese
February 23, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Long Road Home

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Martha Raddatz
publisher
Putnam
genre
War, Nonfiction

We gave it a B

The Iraq war took a bad turn on April 4, 2004, when Shiite militias ambushed a U.S. Army patrol in Baghdad’s Sadr City. In The Long Road Home, Martha Raddatz offers a competent account of the battle and a portrait of both the soldiers and their families back home (including antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan). The grisly firefight recalls the 1993 military disaster in Mogadishu that Mark Bowden so brilliantly captured in Black Hawk Down, but Raddatz’s narrative never achieves that velocity. While she refreshingly avoids polemics, her failure — or refusal — to put the tragedy in a larger moral or political context leaves you wondering what it all means. B

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