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THE LIVING UNKNOWN SOLDIER

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 The Living Unknown Soldier: 
 

A Story of Grief and the Great War
Reviewed by Nicholas E. Efstathiou
By Jean-Yves Le Naour
Metropolitan Books, New York, 2004

World War I, initially marked by troops employing 19th-century 
tactics encountering 20th-century weaponry, saw heavy casualties 
on all sides. France, the Allied power that bore the brunt of 
German offensives in the West, suffered a particularly high 
casualty rate, including some 400,000 soldiers listed as missing. 
Even after a near century of recovering the dead, some 130,000 
French soldiers re-main missing in action from WWI.

Those missing men left behind families and friends who were 
unable to achieve closure. In The Living Unknown Soldier, 
Le Naour details the quest to discover the identity of an amnesiac 
veteran whose anonymity gripped the French nation in 1918. The 
search stirred the national conscience and rekindled painful 
memories among the relatives of other missing men, who saw in the 
amnesiac soldier their own loved ones.

Le Naour, a professor of history and political science at the 
University of Aix-en-Provence, brings considerable writing and 
research skills to his story. Penny Allen's English translation 
reads easily and concisely brings to light one of war's horrors: 
to die alone and unknown, leaving behind a family that never knows 
the fate of its loved one.
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READERS' REVIEWS from Reiki-Bookshop
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - A Somber, Unsettling Tale Jean-Yves Le Naour has magnificently written an unsettling tale of the Living Unknown Soldier of post-WWI France, Anthelme Mangin. Penny Allen has masterfully translated the story. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Lost and Disillusioned In "The Living Unknown Soldier," Anthelme is a an unidentified French Soldier in post WWI Europe. He is suffering from Amnesia and doesnt remember who is family is or where he is to call home. He searches countless times all over Europe. People who cannot find realitives of their own take him in, thinking if he can't remember who he is maybe he is our lost relitive. Distant family memebers desperately hold on to the shroud of hope that he maybe their family member. In this book Anthelme represents the young generation of France. The childish belief that once something is over it is forgotten. It is trying to show how France wants its people to forget the horrible losses of the war and move on into the next stage of civilization. France felt guilty for the way the family's suffered, for the lost, the innnocent, and the missing. This book represents the way the whole country of France felt, Lost and Disillusioned.
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