Letters from Abu Ghraib, Second Edition (Paperback)
Letters from Abu Ghraib, a collection of email messages sent by Joshua Casteel to his friends and family during his service as a US Army interrogator and Arabic linguist in the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion, is the raw and intimate record of a solider in moral conflict with his duties. Once a cadet at the US Military Academy at West Point and raised in an Evangelical Christian home, Casteel finds himself stationed at Abu Ghraib prison in the wake of the prisoner abuse scandal. He is troubled by what he is asked to do there, although it is, as he writes, ""miles within the bounds of what CNN and the BBC care about."" Forced to confront the nature of fundamentalism, both religious and political, Casteel asks himself a fundamental question: ""How should I then live?"" ""What Joshua Casteel interrogates in Letters from Abu Ghraib is the very idea of liberty. For every enduring work of literature is an epistle from the prison of silence to the possibility of freedom."" --Christopher Merrill ""An astounding insider's look at the war in Iraq. Joshua Casteel is an astute observer, a superb writer and man of deeply held moral and religious conviction. Letters from Abu Ghraib gives us entry into his personal journey from dedicated soldier and interrogator to determined conscientious objector."" --Emily Mann, McCarter Theatre Artistic Director and Resident Playwright ""Letters from Abu Ghraib shows us that good and evil are not absolutes, but rather points along the spectrum of decisions that we, as individuals and participants in institutions, all must face."" --Kelly Dougherty, Executive Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War ""Casteel's letters breathe intelligence and passion. We Americans are more in need of listening to him now than we were when he wrote these letters more than a decade ago. 'The entire country should drop to its knees, ' he writes, and he is right. I'm grateful to have read this book, and grateful for the man who wrote it."" --Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Chair of Catholic Theology, Duke Divinity School Joshua Casteel (1979-2012) received dual MFAs from the University of Iowa's programs in nonfiction and playwriting, and was a student in the University of Chicago's Divinity School at the time of his death. The author of the plays Returns and The Interrogation Room, Casteel's work was staged at London's Royal Court Theatre. His nonfiction was published in Harper's, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Point, and elsewhere. After becoming a conscientious objector, Casteel traveled nationally and internationally as an acclaimed speaker on social, political, and theological issues. He was awarded The Bishop Dingman Award from Catholic Peace Ministries and the St. Marcellus Award from Catholic Peace Fellowship for his work toward justice and peace.