3 out of 4 stars
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Arlington Anthology by Ron MacDonald consists of more than a hundred accounts of people who are buried at the Arlington National Cemetery. These accounts ranged from presidents, literary figures, astronauts, soldiers, nurses, slaves, civilians, and many more. The people of these accounts come from as far back as the Revolutionary War to the present day. Some of these stories were based on eyewitness or historical accounts, while other stories were told from their own words. Each chapter in the book tells the story of how each person came to be buried at the cemetery.
Since the book is told in the perspective of a different person in each chapter, there isn't a main storyline. The content of this book is very sobering which makes sense because it is a book about war. The author does a good job in describing the effects war can have on a person both during and after it. The author not only includes wars that date back to the eighteenth century, but also describes the different roles of how each person ended up in the cemetery.
This book not only talked about the lives of soldiers, but it also talked about people who personally knew famous people like Abraham Lincoln. There was an account of a person who served twelve presidents in his life. There were also a variety of stories from soldiers from the Revolutionary War to the Iraq War who were given medals like the Silver Star and the Medal of Honor. There were a lot of stories in this book, but there were a few that popped out to me. For example, there was a soldier, who became a baseball player after he served in the army, that was mistakenly named as the inventor of baseball.
I often had to reread a couple of sentences because of the amount of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes that I came across. Even though this book talked a lot about war, the war scenes weren't too graphic. However, I had to read this book in short periods of time because some of the material took time to digest. While I was reading this book, I would often read that out of hundreds of soldiers who went into a battle only a couple of them came out alive. This was pretty shocking to read. The atrocities of war were depicted realistically in this book, and I teared up a lot after reading a couple of heartbreaking accounts of these brave men and women.
Overall, I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars. Although I enjoyed reading each of the stories, there were numerous grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, so I often had to reread sentences to understand what I was reading. After reading this book, I gained a better understanding of the sacrifices that brave men and women had to make. I recommend this book to those who like to read historical fiction novels, especially novels about war.
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