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Remembered Today:

The Living Unknown Soldier


andigger

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At the bookstore tonight I saw this on the shelf. It is about a 'unknown' soldier who is found at the Lyon train station in Feb 1919. He has amnesia and has lost his dog tags. It appears he returned from a POW camp in Germany.

His name becomes Anthelme Mangin, and he is hospitalized and efforts are made to identify him. About 1922 (I think) the hospital publishes photographs of him in an effort to find his family. Apparently large numbers of people come forward to claim he is their missing relative. The author makes the arguement that he comes to symbolize the MIA brothers, sons, and fathers who never came home. It sounds very interesting, and at least the first part read pretty easily.

Has anyone else read the book, or heard anything about it? Andy

ISBN 0805075224

$22

..... another book by the same author is A History of Sexual Behaviour During World War I. I am curious about this book as well. ;)

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Andy,

Saw the volume a week or so ago at Barnes&Noble booksellers on the shelves in the Great War area of military history. Picked up a copy and carried it to the coffee shop and read it before closing time.

A fascinating story! Photos of several former POWs in French Mental hospitals [who had identity confusion upon their release from German custody] were published in major newspapers to attempt identification. The flood of French families whose sons, husbands, brothers had gone missing ... perhaps "he" had been found alive?

I found this psyche review for a society decimated by missing persons quite moving.

Doc D

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Picked up a copy and carried it to the coffee shop and read it before closing time.

Doc D and Yves thanks for the replies... I am seriously thinking about picking the book up myself.

Doc.... my roommate is a manager at B&N and they alwyas talk about the customers who read books in the cafe and return them to the shelves without paying for them. I'm sure you paid for your copy, but it was good for a laugh. :D

Thanks, Andy

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Picked up a copy in the US over the summer; I haven't seen it in the UK yet.

The book is the subject of a major documentary to be shown on French TV this week as one of its Armistice period offerings

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