Cover image for The Gulf between us : love and terror in Desert Storm
The Gulf between us : love and terror in Desert Storm
Acree, Cynthia B.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Brassey's, 2000.
Physical Description:
xiv, 317 pages, 52 leaves of plates ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
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DS79.74 .A27 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Tortured by the Iraqis, Marine pilot Cliff Acree refused to reveal secret information. In this book, Cliff's wife recounts her ordeal on the home front, her joyful reunion with him, and their struggle to rebuild their lives together.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Two POW memoirs reporting radically different experiences two generations apart have a common theme: being at the mercy of brutal or careless captors is at best survivable. Alexander, who spent three and a half years in Japanese hands, provides one of the few field-grade POW perspectives on the Pacific War, adding considerably to knowledge of what was survival behavior and what was not; sheer willpower seems to have been crucial for him. Posthumously published and owing much to skilled editing, Alexander's testimony, though still not ideally coherent, contains many vivid scenes of combat and captivity. Although understandably scathing about most of the Japanese, Alexander recognizes that some were more civilized and professional than others. The Acrees tell a double story: of the colonel's captivity in Iraq, where, as the first high-ranking coalition prisoner, he received exceptionally brutal treatment; and of his wife's organizing the POW/MIA Alliance, which conducted a letter-writing campaign that drew public and government attention and kept it focused on the POWs. Their dual narrative portrays neither the Iraqis nor the media as worthy of much credit. The Acrees themselves are another story. Together, they offer valuable perspectives on the Marine Corps "family" --hers, that of a modern, career woman who came late to being a marine officer's wife, and his, that of the marine officer rightly "proud to bear the title." --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Loaded with kitschy, you-are-there dialogue reconstruction and self-dramatization, this husband-and-wife Gulf War memoir won't win any awards. Yet the voices of the Acrees, who trade short chapters in relating Cliff's captivity and its home-front repercussions, have a guileless authenticity. His Ov-10 shot down over southern Kuwait on the war's second day, Acree was captured by the Iraqis and held as a POW for 48 days in Baghdad, until all hostages were released as part of a cease-fire agreement. The book takes the Acrees day-by-day from Cliff's preparations as squadron leader for getting his planes and men from Camp Pendleton to the Middle East (with plenty of technical detail for buffs) to the desperation of Cindy (as she is referred to throughout) for information after his plane went missing, Cliff's brutal torture and unsuccessful coercion by his captors, and the efforts launched by the POW/MIA Liberty Alliance for Operation Desert Storm, spearheaded by Cindy, to draw attention to the plight of Gulf prisoners. Cliff describes the conditions of near-starvation and isolation he endured, along with savage beatings that left him with severe neck, nasal, digestive and heart problems (later addressed by a number of surgeries). The psychological stress he suffered as a POW left Cliff with long-term emotional problems, a second "gulf" that, the couple relates, has been mostly surmounted by the gradual improvement in his physical condition and the birth of the couple's first child. Beyond some--well-earned--posturing, this is a compelling tale. B&w photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Prologue I Cliffp. xiii
Prologue II Cindyp. xiv
1. A Bronco in Baghdadp. 1
2. The Gathering Stormp. 23
3. The Trip to Hellp. 61
4. Black Belts, Yellow Ribbonsp. 98
5. No Time for Tearsp. 136
6. A Dual Battlep. 169
7. Miracles Can Happenp. 193
8. From Darkness to Lightp. 216
9. The Gulf Narrowsp. 239
10. All I Want Is a Normal Lifep. 272
Epiloguep. 309
Indexp. 312