Miracle at St. Anna

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Overview

Inspired by a historical incident that took place in the village of St. Anna di Stazzema in Tuscany and by the experiences of the famed Buffalo Soldiers of the 92nd Division in Italy during World War 11, Miracle at St. Anna is a singular evocation of war, cruelty, passion, heroism, and love. It is the story of four American soldiers, the villagers among whom they take refuge, a band of partisans, and an Italian boy, all of whom encounter a miracle — though perhaps the true ...

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Overview

Inspired by a historical incident that took place in the village of St. Anna di Stazzema in Tuscany and by the experiences of the famed Buffalo Soldiers of the 92nd Division in Italy during World War 11, Miracle at St. Anna is a singular evocation of war, cruelty, passion, heroism, and love. It is the story of four American soldiers, the villagers among whom they take refuge, a band of partisans, and an Italian boy, all of whom encounter a miracle — though perhaps the true miracle lies in themselves.

Traversing class, race, and geography, Miracle at St. Anna is above,, all a hymn to the brotherhood of man and the power to do good that lives in each of us. It reveals a little-known but fascinating moment in history through the eyes and imagination of a gifted writer. Like The Color of Water, James McBride's stunning' first novel will change the way we perceive ourselves and our world.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This is the first novel by the author of the bestselling The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother . Based on an actual World War II event, Miracle at St. Anna recounts a horrific massacre in a village in Tuscany. A quartet of African-American soldiers, a band of Partisans, and an Italian boy interact in an extreme situation.
From The Critics
McBride's new novel is a lyrical rendering of a few days in the lives of four members of the 92nd Division of Buffalo Soldiers in World War II, who find themselves behind enemy lines after one of their number rescues an Italian child. The novel unfolds the needs and desires of the four soldiers with sure, quick vignettes, weaving their lives together with the life of the Italian village in which they briefly stay. The soldiers soon recognize that despite their differences, they are all held in contempt by an army whose white leaders seem only too happy to sacrifice them. The book's value lies in its careful re-creation of the world of the Buffalo Soldier, whose service has been too-long forgotten, and in its unflinching willingness to examine not only institutional racism, but also the wounds inflicted on black soldiers by white superiors and by one another. McBride's careful treatment of the differences among his black characters and his measured understanding of the unsuspected perils of cross-cultural contact make the end of the book especially surprising. Schooled in hard lessons by the novel, readers may find its last pages anomalous and disappointing.
—Stephanie Foote

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Following the huge critical and commercial success of his nonfiction memoir, The Color of Water, McBride offers a powerful and emotional novel of black American soldiers fighting the German army in the mountains of Italy around the village of St. Anna of Stazzema in December 1944. This is a refreshingly ambitious story of men facing the enemy in front and racial prejudice behind; it is also a carefully crafted tale of a mute Italian orphan boy who teaches the American soldiers, Italian villagers and partisans that miracles are the result of faith and trust. Toward the end of 1944, four black U.S. Army soldiers find themselves trapped behind enemy lines in the village as winter and the German army close in. Pvt. Sam Train, a huge, dim-witted, gentle soldier, cares for the traumatized orphan boy and carries a prized statue's head in a sack on his belt. Train and his three comrades are scared and uncertain what to do next, but an Italian partisan named Peppi involves the Americans in a ruthless ploy to uncover a traitor among the villagers. Someone has betrayed the villagers and local partisans to the Germans, resulting in an unspeakable reprisal. Revenge drives Peppi, but survival drives the Americans. The boy, meanwhile, knows the truth of the atrocity and the identity of the traitor, but he clings to Train for comfort and protection. Through his sharply drawn characters, McBride exposes racism, guilt, courage, revenge and forgiveness, with the soldiers confronting their own fear and rage in surprisingly personal ways at the decisive moment in their lives. Agent, Flip Brophy. Author tour. (Feb. 4) Forecast: The multi-talented McBride he is an award-winning composer as well as a writer acquits himself admirably as a fiction writer. Fans of The Color of Water and readers with wartime memories will make up a strong base audience for his first novel. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Having conquered nonfiction with The Color of Water, which dwelled on the New York Times best sellers list for two years, journalist McBride takes a chance at fiction. He roots his novel in actual events, relating an encounter between the 92nd Division's Buffalo Soldiers and a little boy from a Tuscan village where a terrible massacre has occurred. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Four Americans from the 92nd Buffalo Division and a Tuscan village endure the worst of the war in a brutal and moving first novel from McBride (a bestselling memoir: The Color of Water, 1996).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060093198
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2002
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 5 CDs
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

James McBride is an award-winning writer and musician. His memoir and tribute to his mother, The Color of Water, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than two years, was published worldwide and won the prestigious Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. As a composer McBride has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., and Gary Burton; he received the American Music Theater Festival's Stephen Sondheim Award for his jazz/pop musical Bobos. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Biography

James McBride's bestselling memoir, The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, explores the author's struggle to understand his biracial identity and the experience of his white, Jewish mother, who moved to Harlem, married a black man, and raised 12 children. Readers may not know that the multitalented McBride has another dual identity: He's trained as a musician and a writer and has been highly successful in both careers.

After getting his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University at the age of 22, he began a career in journalism that would include stints as staff writer at the Boston Globe, People magazine, and The Washington Post. But McBride also loved writing and performing music, and at age 30, he quit his job as a feature writer at The Washington Post to pursue a music career in New York. After Anita Baker recorded a song he'd written, "Good Enough," McBride had enough contacts in the industry to spend the next eight years as a professional musician, writing, recording, and performing (he plays the saxophone).

He was playing tenor sax for jazz singer Little Jimmy Scott while he wrote The Color of Water "on airplanes and in hotels." Like the jazz music McBride plays, the book alternates voices, trading off between McBride's perspective and that of his mother. The Color of Water was a worldwide success, selling millions of copies and drawing high praise from book critics. "This moving and unforgettable memoir needs to be read by people of all colors and faiths," wrote Publishers Weekly. It now appears on reading lists at high schools and colleges around the country.

After the enormous success of The Color of Water, McBride felt some pressure to continue writing memoirs, or at least to continue with the theme of race relations in America. Instead, he turned to fiction, and although his second book draws part of its inspiration from family history, it isn't autobiographical. "My initial aim was to write a novel about a group of black soldiers who liberate a concentration camp in Eastern Europe," McBride explains on his web site. "I read lots of books and spent a lot of time researching the subject but soon came to the realization that I'm not qualified to write about the holocaust. It's too much." Instead, he recalled the war stories of his uncle and cousin, who served in the all-black 92nd Infantry Division, and began researching World War II in Italy -- particularly the clashes between Italian Partisans and the German army.

The resulting novel, Miracle at St. Anna, is "an intricate mosaic of narratives that ultimately becomes about betrayal and the complex moral landscape of war" (The New York Times Book Review) and has earned high marks from critics for its nuanced portrayal of four Buffalo Soldiers and the Italian villagers they encounter. McBride, perhaps not surprisingly, likens writing fiction to playing jazz: "You are the soloist and the characters are the bandleaders, the Duke Ellingtons and Count Basies. They present the song, and you must play it as they determine."

Good To Know

McBride has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., Gary Burton, and the PBS television character Barney. He has also written the score for several musicals and currently leads a 12-piece jazz/R&B band.

One of his most taxing assignments as a journalist was to cover Michael Jackson's 1984 Victory Tour for six months. "I thought I was going to lose my mind," he told USA Today.

For a book fair, he performed with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band made up of writers including Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Stephen King, Dave Barry, and Ridley Pearson.

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    1. Hometown:
      Bucks County, Pennsylvania
    1. Date of Birth:
      1957
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Oberlin Conservatory of Music; M.A., Columbia University School of Journalism

Read an Excerpt


Prologue
All the guy wanted was a twenty-cent stamp. That's all he wanted, but when he slid his dollar bill across the post office counter at 34th Street in Manhattan, the diamond in the gold ring on his finger was so huge that postal clerk Hector Negron wanted to see whom the finger was connected to. Hector normally never looked at the faces of customers. In thirty years of working behind the window at the post office, he could think of maybe three customers whose faces he could actually remember, and two of them were relatives. One was his sister, whom he hadn't talked to in fourteen years. The other was his cousin from San Juan, who had been his first-grade teacher. Besides those two, the rest didn't count. They melded into the millions of New York schmucks who staggered to his window with a smile, hoping he would smile back, which he never did. People did not interest him anymore. He had lost his interest in them long ago, even before his wife died. But Hector loved rocks, especially the valuable ones. He'd played the numbers every single day for the past thirty years, and he often fantasized about the kind of diamonds he would buy if he won. So when the man slid his dollar bill across the counter and asked for a stamp, Hector saw the huge rock on his finger and looked up, and when he did, his heart began to pound and he felt faint; he remembered the naked terror of the dark black mountain towns of Tuscany, the old walls, the pitch-black streets as tiny as alleyways, the staircases that appeared out of nowhere, the freezing rainy nights when every stirring leaf sounded like a bomb dropping and the hooting of an owl made him piss in his pants. He saw beyond the man'sface but he saw the man's face, too. It was a face he would never forget.

Hector always carried a pistol to work, and the next day, when the newspapers ran the story of how Hector pulled the pistol out of his front pocket and blew the man's face off, they talked about how Hector always carried a gun to work because he lived in Harlem and Harlem was dangerous. Hector was old. He lived alone. He'd been robbed before. He was afraid. The New York Times and the Post carried the requisite interviews of fellow postal employees gathered around a taped-up doorway saying he'd seemed about to snap and that he was ready for retirement and how they couldn't understand it all, but only one person, a rookie reporter from the Daily News named Tim Boyle, wrote anything about the statue head. It was Boyle's first day on the job, and he got lost going to the post office, and by the time he got there, the other reporters had left and all of Hector's co-workers had gone. Boyle panicked, thinking he was going to get fired-which if you're a reporter for the Daily News and you can't find the main post office in midtown Manhattan is about right-so he talked the cops into letting him ride with them up to Hector's ramshackle apartment on 145th Street. They went through Hector's things and found the head of a statue, which looked expensive. Boyle rode with the cops to Forensics, who checked it out and found nothing. But one of the cop's wives was an art lover, and the cop said this thing don't look normal, so they took it to the Museum of Natural History, who sent them to the Museum of Modern Art, who sent for a man out of NYU's art department, who came over and said, Shit, this is the missing head of the Primavera from the Santa Trinita.

The cops laughed and said Is that the Nina, the Pinta, or the Santa Maria?

The guy said, Hell no. It's a bridge in Florence.

And that's how Tim Boyle saved his job and Hector Negron made the front page of the International Herald Tribune, which on that December morning in 1983 was tossed from a tenth-story window of the Aldo Manuzio office building in Rome by a tired janitor named Franco Curzi who wanted to get home early because it was almost Christmas. It floated down and pirouetted in the air a few times and finally landed on a table at the sidewalk cafe below, as if God had placed it there, which He, in fact, had.

A tall, well-dressed Italian man with a well-trimmed beard was sitting at a table having his morning coffee when the paper landed on the table next to his. He noticed the headline and grabbed the paper.

He read holding the coffee cup in his hand, and when he was done, he dropped the coffee cup and stood so abruptly his chair skidded out behind him and the table slid forward three feet. He turned and began to walk, then trot, then run down the street. Passersby on the sidewalk gawked as the tall man in the Caraceni suit and Bruno Magli shoes tore past them at full tilt, his jacket flying behind him, his arms pumping, running down the crowded tiny streets as fast as he could go, as if by running he could leave it all behind, which was of course impossible.


Invisible

On December 12, 1944, Sam Train became invisible for the first time. He remembered it exactly.

He was standing on the bank of the Cinquale Canal, just north of Forte dei Marmi, in Italy. It was dawn. The order was to go. One hundred and twenty black soldiers from the Ninety-second Division bunched behind five tanks and watched them roll toward the water, then clumsily waded in behind them, rifles held high. On the other side, just beyond the river plains and mostly hidden in the heavy mountain forest of the Apuane Alps, five companies of Field-Marshal Albert Kesselring's 148th Brigade Division, seasoned, hardened German troops, watched and waited. They sat silently. Hardened, seasoned, exhausted, they sat burrowed into the sides of the heavily wooded mountain, peering into their scopes, watching every move. They'd been there on the Gothic line six months, a thick line of defense that stretched across the Italian peninsula, from La Spezia all the way to the Adriatic Sea, planting mines, building concrete bunkers, laying booby traps and tripwires. Exhausted, starving, knowing the war was lost, most wanted to run but could not. There were reports that many were found dead, chained to their machine guns. The orders were straight from the Fuhrer himself. Any man who deserted, any man who gave an inch would be shot without ceremony or trial. Their orders were to stand firm. There was no backing away.

Train watched as the first of the tanks hit a mine on the other side of the beach and the Germans opened up with everything-mortars, .88's, and machine -gun fire. He heard a frightened voice behind him screaming, "Kill me now! Kill me now!" and he wondered who it was. The smell of cordite and gunpowder drifted into his lungs. He felt his heart seize and stop. Then he heard someone yell, "Go, soldier!" and felt a shove, and he ran, splashing, to his own death.

He had no choice. He didn't want to run. He didn't trust his commander. The man was from the South. Train had never seen him before that morning. He was a replacement for the old captain, who'd transferred out two days before-whose name Train couldn't remember either. The men were strangers to him, but they were white, so they had to be right, or maybe not, but Train was from North Carolina and he didn't know how to stand up to white people like the coloreds from the North did. Train didn't trust them. They brought trouble with their high falutin' ways and long words and college degrees, always making the captain-what was his name? -mad. He remembered the first colored soldier he'd ever seen, back home in Highpoint, North Carolina, just before he was drafted. It was his first-ever bus ride in the city, and the man had spoiled it. The soldier got on the bus wearing a crisp army uniform with lieutenant's bars and a shoulder patch with a black buffalo on it. He took a seat down front. The bus driver said, "Move to the back, boy." The Negro opened his mouth, outraged, and said, "Fuck you." The driver slammed on the brakes and got up. Before the Yankee could move, there was a chorus of hissing and cursing from the rear of the bus. It was the other blacks next to Train. "Cut it out," one hissed. "You makin it bad for the rest of us." "Whyn't you go home, you mooley bastard," shouted another. Train, stunned, tried to look away, the slight bit of shame that washed over him replaced by relief as the Yankee soldier glared at the blacks next to him, flung open the rear door of the bus, and stomped out, huffing and muttering at them in furious disgust. The bus roared away, blowing black diesel fumes in his face.

And now Train was following one of those light-skinned, know-it-all Northern Negroes into the drink, a lieutenant from Harlem named Huggs. He called himself "A Howard University guy, ASTP," which Train guessed had something to do with reading but wasn't sure since he couldn't read himself. It was something he had a mind to learn one day because he would like to read the Bible and know his verses better. He even tried to think about his Bible verses as he drove his legs into the water and the din around him grew louder, but he couldn't remember a single verse so he began singing "Nearer My God to Thee," and as he sang the metal shrapnel and bullets began to ping off the tanks around him and he could hear their treads snapping as they hit mines that blew up. He waded slowly up to his hips in the clear canal and suddenly felt quiet and peaceful, and then --just like that -- he was invisible. He could see better, hear better, smell better. Everything in the world became clear, every truth clairvoyant, every lie a blasphemy, all of nature became alive to him. At 6'6", two hundred seventy-five pounds, all muscle, with a soft-spoken charm, tender brown eyes, and deep chocolate skin that covered an innocent round face, Sam Train was everything the army wanted in a Negro. He was big. He was kind. He followed orders. He could shoot a rifle. And most of all, he was dumb. The other men laughed at him and called him "sniper bait" and "Diesel" because of his size. They placed bets on whether he could pull a two-ton truck or not, but he never minded them, only smiled. He knew he wasn't smart. He had prayed to become smart, and suddenly here he was: smart, and invisible. Two for one.

He stopped completely still in the water as the sounds of death and machine-gun fire seemed to die all around him, as if someone had turned down the volume and replaced it with the peaceful crowing of a rooster that he could hear all by itself as if it were singing solo. Standing in the water as men rushed past him, falling, screaming, weeping, he gazed upward at the mountain before him and marveled at the lovely olive trees that lay in the groves above the German batteries, which he could see as clear as day. He saw the bobbing green of the Germans' helmets as they raced from one smoking artillery cannon to another. The helmets blended perfectly with the shorn leaves and rocks and ridges of the mountains behind them. He marveled at the sun peeking over the ridge as if for the first time. Everything seemed perfect. When Train saw the smarty-dog Huggs from New York spin back toward him with his face shot off, then flop into the water like a rag doll, he felt no fear. He was happy, because he was invisible. Nothing could touch him. Nothing could happen to him. He decided it had to be the statue head.

He'd found it in Florence the first day he'd arrived, next to a river where the Germans had destroyed a bridge. Everybody in the army wanted souvenirs, but for some reason nobody was interested in it. There must have been four companies that marched past that marble head, but no one grabbed it, maybe because of the weight. But Sam Train had carried a forty-six-pound radio in training camp for six months and that had never bothered him. He picked it up because he wanted it as a gift for his grandmother. He kept it in a net bag laced to his hip, and before the day was over three guys had offered him ten dollars for it. "Naw," he said, "I'm keeping it." That night he changed his mind and decided to test the market. He wanted to see if the Italians would buy it because he'd heard they would pay twenty dollars for a carton of cigarettes. Before digging his foxhole outside Florence, he walked into town to look for an Italian, but he couldn't find a soul. The streets were empty, barren, save for an occasional rat that leaped out of the wreckage and quickly disappeared into the rubble again. Finally, Train found an old woman wandering down a deserted street. She was the first Italian he had ever met. She was ragged and filthy, with her head wrapped in a scarf and her feet swathed in rubber inner tubes worn like sandals, even though it was winter. He held the statue head out as he approached. He offered it to her for fifty dollars. She smiled a toothless grin and said, "Me half-American, too." Train didn't understand. He dropped the offer to twenty-five. She turned around and staggered away as if drunk. He stood, blinking in misunderstanding. Halfway up the block she straddled the curb, spread her legs, held her dress out, squatted, and pissed, steam coming from the piss as it hit the ground. He was glad he didn't sell it to her. It would have been a waste.

He was thinking about the woman squatting over the curb, pissing, as the murky parts of Huggs's face floated past him in the water. Then he heard a soft plop and felt a sucking inside his chest and a pain in his head. Suddenly, he no longer felt peaceful. He could feel his invisibility slipping off like a cloak, so he ran like hell, past two burning tanks, past a bobbing arm connected to a bobbing body, straight across to the other side of the canal, where a group of soldiers cowered behind a rock in a grove of trees, a man named Bishop among them.

He flopped on the canal bank and heard Bishop say, "Oh shit. You been hit in the head."

Train wiped the moisture from his face, glanced at it, realized it was blood, and lay on his back and died. He felt his spirit leave his body. It was as if his spirit had drained out of the bottom of his shoes and floated away. He was truly invisible now.

"Thank you, Lord," Train said. "I'm prepared for Thee." He waited to feel the sweet nothingness of death. He opened his mouth to taste the sweet smell of heaven and felt instead stinking, hot chicken breath blowing down into his lungs. It tasted like dog shit and hog maws mixed together. He opened his eyes and saw the big, black, shiny, eel-like face of Bishop's stuck to his - Bishop stuck to his mouth. He sat up straight.

"Goddamn, you crazy?" Suddenly, the booms and din around Train seemed to screech to an unbelievable roaring pitch. He heard moans and screams of death. He heard fire crackling as nearby tree limbs and branches snapped under the thunderous slams of .88 shells that whirred past, blowing branches and bark down on them like rainwater. It was as if some giant, inhuman beast had broken loose and was out to destroy the world. He looked across the canal and saw the unit retreating, the dozens of bodies in the canal, a white captain waving them back in, and then his view was blocked by Bishop's huge, black, shiny face and several glistening gold teeth, which adorned the front of Bishop's mouth like a radiator grill. Bishop grabbed him by the lapel and roared at him over the din, "You owe me fourteen-hundred dollars!"

It was true. He did owe Bishop fourteen-hundred dollars from poker and craps, but that was before today. Before he'd learned to become invisible.

Just as suddenly, it got quiet. The screaming meanies quit, the German machine guns quit, the American ack-ack guns quit, and the only sound Train could make out was the crackling of a burning tank in the canal just short of shore and the soft murmuring of someone who was obviously burning to death inside it. He suddenly remembered where he was and what had happened to him.

"Wasn't I hit?" he asked Bishop.

Bishop was a minister from Kansas City. They called him Walking Thunder. He was a short, trim man with smooth skin that covered a handsomely sharp, coal-black face, with dimples and devilish laughing eyes that seemed to wink all the time. His uniform always appeared starched and neat, even in battle. His voice was like silk, his hands slender and delicate, as if they had never held dirt, and his gold-toothed smile was like reason itself. He had a church of two-hundred parishioners back home who sent him care packages every week, full of chicken and cookies, which he used to barter at poker. Train had heard him preach once at training camp and it was like watching a steam pump sucking coal on a hot July day. He could make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up on end.

"You was hit and you was dead and I brung you back," said Bishop. "Don't nobody know about it but me, and that's fine. But you owes me some money, and until you pays it, you ain't goin nowhere."

"You puttin a mojo on me?"

"I ain't doing no mojo. I wants my money. Now you go git that white boy out that haystack over there yonder. He's yours to deal with. I sure ain't goin."

"What white boy?"

"That one." Bishop pointed to a stone barn about two hundred yards off and fled, splashing back across the canal as the bombs and artillery splashed around him and didn't touch him.

Train turned on his side and watched as a haystack the size of a small bush crept along the barn wall, then stopped. Underneath it were two tiny feet clad in wooden shoes.

-- from Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride, Copyright © February 2002, Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc. Used by permission.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2005

    Buffalo Soldiers in Tuscany

    Rarely have I encountered a book that moved me as much as James McBride¿s Miracle at St. Anna. Not only should it be declared an American classic, every college should make it part of their freshman reading list. McBride engages the seldom mentioned subject of black combat soldiers in World War II. Four members of the famed 92nd Infantry Division (the Buffalo Soldiers), find themselves trapped behind enemy lines in Tuscany. Surrounded by Germans, the quartet rescues a small Italian boy who proves to be the catalyst in each man¿s quest for courage, love, sacrifice, and honor. The poignancy of their battle is emphasized by the ambivalence they each experience over fighting for freedoms in Europe that they are not afforded in their own country. Each man accepts the challenge, albeit reluctantly at times, exhibiting a depth of character and humanity previously unknown to them. McBride weaves a theme of invisibility into the story that translates into the moral invincibility of the main characters. McBride has studied and practiced his craft well. I can honestly say that I feel privileged to have read his work. I hope to see more novels from him in the future.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2003

    Could Make an Excellent Movie

    This story was one of the best novels that I have read in years. This real life story was written in vivid detail. Amidst the violence and hatred stands LOVE. Love which 'covers a multitude of sins.' Breathtaking, disturbing, horrifying, tantalizing, and heartwarming, all describe the tone of this wonderful story. Blacks and other minorities are often discounted and not seen as viable forces within society. This book shows the mindset of some 'non-minorities' that continues to strive in today's world. It is good to know that the Buffalo Soldiers and other minorities had a major contribution towards resolving WWII. I was not only entertained but educated. This novel not only touched me personally but taught me the 'history' of the Buffalo Soldiers. I never knew why black troops carried that name, but the author eloquently explains that while telling an exciting story which bonded people of all races into one LOVE. Mr. James Mcbride deserves an award for this novel. I highly recommend this book for your library.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    Miracle at St. Anna

    This a great story!!! Any one who loves WW2 would enjoy this book! The book is very moving and I thoroughly enjoyed it! This book is a MUST READ!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Free sample

    I down loaded the free sample but there was no sample just reviewers raving about the book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2008

    It's a good book.

    I will probly read this book again someday. I enjoyed it very much. The story plot was very interesting and I had never knew some of the details of things that happen during WWII. The soliders were very caring to the civilian people. I would recommend this book to other people to read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2004

    This is begging to be made into a movie!

    I enjoyed listening to this book, the reader was excellent. He truly made each character distinct. I usually would not be attracted to books about war but picked it up due to good reviews for Mr. McBride's previous work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2004

    Superb Writing

    Without a doubt, this is one of the most rewarding novels that I have read. I think this is a must read for all ages. It is, at once, a lesson in story telling and the power of love to avenge evil. For certain, the story does not pretent to resolve all the injustices that it reveals but one cannot help but appreciate the power of them all. The experience was for me life affirming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2003

    Excellence

    This book captures your imagination and sets you free on the final page. By story's end you will feel warn, as if you have just met new friends. Good story telling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2002

    For any Black man thats ever stood at attention

    dense,rich descriptions of the characters made me pour through this book over several days..a rewarding read for anyone with an interest in american blacks in the military or more importantly any black who has served in the u.s. military, mcbride makes you feel the italian mountains and literally smell the pain of carnage and live the hope of simple yet vibrant people

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2002

    A GOOD READ

    The characters in this book are well-developed and realistic. I loved the story and had never heard of this incident in WWII history. The relationship between Train and the orphan boy was so sweet. The last three chapters were the best! I would highly recommend this book.

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