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In his first book about the war, How America Lost Iraq, Berkeley journalist Aaron Glantz used the personal stories of Iraqis to make his point: The United States squandered its initial support from within the country by not figuring out how to turn the lights back on and get the water running. With the insults of Abu Ghraib and the assaults on Fallujah and Najaf, the occupiers, in his view, cemented their failure. Four years later, Glantz, who covered the war for Pacifica radio, is back with a new book that uses a similar device—but this time, he’s working his thesis through the stories of returning soldiers. In The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans, Glantz gets at the trauma seething beyond support our troops bumper stickers and the protesters outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center. His message is no less anti-Bush; it’s his intention to lay blame at the boots of the outgoing administration for its neglect of the men and women who fought its war. More compelling than Glantz’s politics, however, are the heartbreaking, angry, and shameful stories of those men and women as they struggle to come home.
AARON GLANTZ WILL DISCUSS HIS NEW BOOK AT 4:30 P.M. AT BUSBOYS & POETS, 2021 14TH ST. NW. free. (202) 387-7638.