Marching Home: To War and Back with the Men of One American Town

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9780670871506: Marching Home: To War and Back with the Men of One American Town

Follows the experiences of six World War II soldiers in the army, navy, and air corps, from the African-American soldier who endured a segregated army and race riots back home to the sailor who struggled to adapt to life as a post-war police officer.

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About the Author:

Kevin Coyne is a noted journalist whose previous works include Domers: A Year at Notre Dame.

From Publishers Weekly:

This distinctive "Greatest Generation" chronicle portrays men from the author's hometown of Freehold, N.J., as they left for war and returned to face the often mundane but still very real difficulties of postwar life. Coyne (Domers: A Year at Notre Dame) recounts this panoramic story in superior journalistic prose, free of hyper-patriotic guff or pop-psych jargon. Stu Bunton was a naval radio operator who later entered the Freehold police force. Walter Denise returned to the family apple orchard after a distinguished career as an infantryman in northern Europe. Jake Erickson was a radio-intercept operator in the southwest Pacific who married an Australian woman and rose to foreman at the local rug factory. Undertaker Jim Higgins was in air force intelligence in England, while Jewish immigrant Bud Lopatin, a home builder, flew 72 missions in B-26s. The youngest of the six, Bigerton "Buddy" Lewis endured the gross discrimination that was the lot of the army's African-Americans, but came home to rise in county government. Eventually, Jake's rug factory went out of business, and Walter's orchard was reduced to housing-development oblivion as Freehold turned into a New York City bedroom community. A fire destroyed much of downtown, and rebuilding set off arguments over urban renewal; the civil rights and antiwar movements provoked much tension but little bloodshed and led to real progress; and while prayers were banned in schools, other prayers were answered by the building of a new hospital. While this book does not break new ground, it is head and shoulders above much of the near competition, with graceful storytelling and enough social commentary to appeal to fans of Studs Terkel.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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