Picks and Pans Review: The Long Road Home

updated 03/05/2007 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/05/2007 01:00AM

By Martha Raddatz
REVIEWED BY MICHELLE GREEN
CRITIC'S CHOICE
NONFICTION

On April 4, 2004, Diane Ibbotson lost her son to the war in Iraq. In Sadr City on a "peacekeeping mission," newbies including Army Cpl. Forest Jostes were dispatched in trucks to help platoonmates ambushed by militiamen. Jostes, 21, and seven others in his 1st Cavalry Division were picked off like flies. In a searing account that links the events of that day to the families of the dead, Raddatz reports that Diane put her arms around the officer who delivered the news: "I might not get the opportunity very soon to embrace a young man in uniform," she said. With scenes like these, Raddatz, an ABC correspondent who has covered the war since it began, blasts past the chilly rhetoric about "troop losses," crafting a tense, riveting narrative that brings home the real toll of any war—coffin by flag-covered coffin.

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