A classic American story of a young man's return from war and his search for peace—while rafting the entire length of the Mississippi River
A Harriet Williamson pick for best summer reading. Listen to her interview with Marcus on Will Am 580 Radio
One August day, veteran Marcus Eriksen set off on a journey down the entire length of the great Mississippi River on a homemade raft kept afloat by 232 empty soda bottles, recycled junk, and a dose of ingenuity. Though he had never made such a trip before—2,000 miles from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, past his childhood home near New Orleans, to the Gulf of Mexico—he had dreamed of doing it over a decade earlier, while serving amid sandstorms and oil fires in Kuwait as a marine in the Gulf War.
While struggling against a river with an unpredictable personality, Eriksen recounts a personal shift from proud soldier to self-destructive veteran to engaged activist protesting the injustices of the Iraq War. Startlingly honest and warm with affection for the people he meets, in My River Home Eriksen explains, through his own story, the allure of the military, the tragedy of modern war, and the courage it takes to fulfill a dream.
Watch a clip about Marcus Eriksen's trip down the Mississippi River:
Review Times-Picayune (New Orleans) - April 29, 2007
“Eriksen is honest and reflective about the way his character has been formed . . . a complex, subtle portrait of what makes the warrior spirit—whether fighting for his country abroad or fighting for peace at home. So when he talks about what we owe our servicemen—our time and attention, first of all—it has the ring of conviction and wisdom . . . Marcus Eriksen, a hero indeed, speaks for soldiers everywhere when he writes of the need for peace.”
"A beautiful story of healing, hope, faith, and renewal. Eriksen searches to find meaning in all that has been lost and all that has been wasted."
—Ron Kovic, author of Born on the Fourth of July
“Marcus Eriksen is a natural writer. In the best American tradition of Twain, Kerouac, and others, he uses the hard-fought journey as a means to cross not only physical space but psychic space as well. Eriksen's memoir cuts to the core of the great dilemma of what it means to be an American man.”
—Gerald Nicosia, author of Home to War
“All politicians considering war as a policy tool—especially those with no personal military experience—should read this book. The futility and tragedy of war is made agonizingly clear by the inspirational journeys recounted with searing elegance in My River Home.”
—Peter Laufer, author of Mission Rejected: U. S. Soldiers Say No to Iraq
“A Homeric epic that starts at the top of the United States, plummets to the depths of the Gulf War, and probes the soul of a man born to be a Marine who learns the dangerous truth that ‘sometimes patriotism requires that one be willing to protect one’s nation from its own government.’ Through vivid stories, Eriksen exposes the tragic personal consequences of corporatocratic policies—wars that enrich a few and ruin the lives of millions.”
—John Perkins, author of the NY Times bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man