Raised in a close, religious, Pittsburgh family, Frank and Albert were inseparable as
boys, sharing a strong social conscience. Divided by war, they kept in touch by
writing hundreds of letters to each other. The correspondence concerns everything
from the daily drudgery of service--loneliness, lousy food--to heartfelt debates
about war, peace, and patriotism.
This absorbing selection of letters offers fresh perspectives on the American
experience during World War II. The first published correspondence between
GI and CO brothers, the letters are an uncommonly articulate chronicle of military
service and life on the home front, including GI marriage and parenthood. Back
and forth, Frank and Albert also argued about the uses of armed force and pacifist
nonviolence in the face of fascism and Nazism.
Frank Dietrich's letters from Manila are vivid descriptions of a liberated city under
an uneasy occupation. Albert provides an insider's view of the pacifist experience,
especially the protracted efforts pacifists often had to wage to obtain CO status.
Together, the letters bring to life different ways Americans chose to serve their
country during one of its most dangerous and demanding times.