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J. Michael Dumoulin
A Frenchman's Duty
In his own words, Arthur describes his induction and training as a foot soldier, then his first introduction to battle. He describes his experiences at Verdun, in the Marne and Somme, and in Belgium. His journal entries about cooking for his officers and comrades; seeing his first war plane; pinned by snipers; terrifying "over the top" charges; and being lost in enemy trenches and on the battlefield in the fog with pack mules in his charge, give accounts of battles not found in any other biography or history book about the war. Arthur details the quieter sides of the war, too: rotations out of the trenches, interactions with civilians required to put him up for the night, his "permissions," or leaves to see family and friends. He gives a face to the personal side of a soldiers life, in and out of battle, something still so relevant today. Arthur was the author's grandfather and godfather, so the book is not one of those tales where the hero dies in the end. Rather, it is a testament to the resilience in the face of hopeless odds, to life after PTSD, faith, and patriotic sacrifice beyond full understanding. Set during a time of terrible destruction, "A Frenchman's Duty" is nevertheless, an uplifting book about perseverance and its rewards.