We hear a lot—though not nearly enough—about what it’s like to be a soldier returning from duty in Iraq: the culture shock, the pain, the sharp angles of the transition. But it’s rare to hear about what that transition can be like for a reporter. The New York Times’s Damien Cave, who covered Iraq for the paper between July 2006 and December 2007, has written a fascinating journal of re-entry, documenting the fourteen weeks since he first arrived in Miami Beach (Cave is now the Times’s Miami bureau chief) after leaving Iraq. It’s a compelling narrative, both reflective and raw, and certainly worth a read.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.