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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review: The Yanks Are Starving by Glen Craney

Title: The Yanks Are Starving
Author: Glen Craney
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Brigid's Fire Press
Publish Date: 2014
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From "Mired in the Great Depression, the United States teeters on the brink of revolution. And as the summer of 1932 approaches, a charismatic hobo leads twenty thousand desperate World War I veterans into the nation’s capital to demand their service compensation.

The remarkable events depicted in this sweeping historical novel are unfolded through the eyes of eight individuals who come together on a tense July day to determine the nation's fate:

-- Herbert Hoover, the beleaguered president.
-- Douglas MacArthur, the ambitious West Point general.
-- Pelham Glassford, the compassionate District of Columbia police chief.
-- Walter Waters, the troubled leader of the Bonus veterans.
-- Floyd Gibbons, the war correspondent and famous radio broadcaster.
-- Joe Angelo, the banty Italian-American who serves as George Patton's orderly.
-- Ozzie Taylor, the street musician turned Harlem Hellfighter.
-- Anna Raber, the Mennonite nurse.

This timely epic leads the reader across a memorable panorama of American history, from the Boxer Rebellion in China to the Plain of West Point, from the persecution of conscientious objectors to the horrors of the Marne, and from the Hoovervilles of the heartland to the pitiful Anacostia encampment in the bowels of the nation's capital."

My Two Cents:

"The Yanks Are Starving" is a historical fiction novel that takes on the Bonus Army of the 1930s. If you are not familiar with what the Bonus Army was, it was a bunch of World War I veterans that marched through Washington, D.C. in order to demand compensation for their services during the war. They clashed with government officials during an already dark time during American history. Obviously, the country was going through a very difficult time in the early 1930s with the occurrence of the Great Depression and there were a lot of people who were really wanted to get the government to give them what they deserved. This is a very detailed, well researched look at this time period.

This is a huge, sweeping novel that stands at over 500 pages but it is chock full of really interesting historical figures and some fictional characters that really give you the overall feeling of what the country was going through at that time. I really liked how the author was able to weave all of these characters together in order to make the story feel really real. You're able to see the issue from a lot of different angles, which I think really helps you to understand the different points of view of the time.

I think that the writing of this book as one of the most stand out things about it. Although this book is quite long and I do think that some parts could possibly be cut, overall, the author really keeps the story moving along. I always enjoy learning about different historical events that I may not know quite as much about. The Bonus Army is one of those subject that I just do not know much about and I found it fascinating. In this country today, we still have a lot of conversations about how the people who fight and our Armed Forces are compensated for what they do so I found myself thinking a lot about the issues that we still struggle with today while reading this book. This book is a very interesting book that takes place during a pivotal time during our country's history and I believe that historical fiction readers will appreciate the great characters and very good detail within this book.



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