'The War Came Home With Him'

I made the conscious decision to review Catherine Madison’s memoir “The War Came Home With Him” for a number of reasons. For one, I have a degree in history and minor in sociology and have thus always been fascinated with A.) the history of anything and everything and B.) the effects our environment has on us and the people we love. By reading this memoir, I also hoped to understand the conflict we know as the Korean War a little bit more. Not necessarily the military aspect, but the individual impact. I admit that this was a bit more of a selfish endeavor as I have a great-grandfather and a grandfather who were both involved in this war in some form or another. My third and final reason for wanting to explore this memoir is that the Prisoner of War (POW) story is one that I am familiar with professionally, as my first internship with the National Park Service in my home state of Georgia was with Andersonville National Historic Site, a Civil War POW camp and now national POW museum in the heart of southwest Georgia. None of this could prepare me for what I was to discover between the stark white covers of this book.

We’ve all read those books that take a while to get into. You’re 20 or 50 or even 100 pages in, and you just can’t seem to become excited about your endeavor. This was not one of those books. I was hooked from the very first page and found myself taking Madison and her father, referred to by his war buddies as Doc, everywhere with me, including the gym, where I would walk or run on the treadmill, the book bouncing silently in my hands as I continued to be drawn deeper into the story.


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