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This poetry collection describes the Battle of Athens, Tennessee, which unraveled between August 1st and 2nd, 1946. When three thousand World War II veterans came back to their homes in McMinn County, they discovered an incredibly corrupt and oppressive government that engaged in false arrests, bribery, extortion and a long list of other crimes. The ex-G.I.s put together an all-G.I. ticket in the town elections for Sheriff and other major town offices. Over the course of the day, Senator Cantrell and Sheriff Mansfield, the corrupted opposing party, engaged in election fraud that went so far as to shoot Tom, a black farmer, for voting against them. In response, the veterans acquired guns and mounted an offensive that led to a stand-off at the jail house. The veterans in Athens won their right to a fair election with the use of deadly force. This collection closely follows archival evidence, and includes several poems about related philosophical and political concerns. It is a fascinating read for students of American history, as well as those who enjoy political poetry.
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Midwest Book Review: Poetry Shelf: December 2012
"What we left behind is not always what we return to. 'Battle for Athens' is a collection of poetry from Anna Faktorovich, who uses her poetry to tell the story of World War II veterans returning to Athens, Tennessee, to a city run by a corrupted government. Telling of the veterans rising up politically, then arming themselves violently, 'Battle for Athens' is a riveting twist of poetry with an enticing premise, much recommended..."
Writer Advice: Aline Soules
"In the long tradition of narrative poetry, this work will stand out as a worthy addition... Writing historical narrative poetry requires a challenging combination of dispassion in the story telling and passion in the stance that the story takes. Faktorovich achieves both. Each poem can be read as a unique element; together, they create the full story and indict the power that corrupts. Further, Faktorovich implies a strong analogy to the processes in which we engage today, questioning our country's motives and encouraging the reader to think."
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