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William GrimesIn Unknown Soldiers Neil Hanson unearths three of them — one American, one English and one German — and drawing on their long, detailed letters to family members, creates an unforgettable picture of life in the hottest sectors of the Western Front. That takes up half the book. The rest deals with a more elusive subject, the struggle of the combatant nations to memorialize the dead, and in tombs dedicated to unknown soldiers, to express the meaning of a meaningless war in an emotionally satisfying way. There are lessons here for the artists, architects, planners and politicians scrambling to create a fitting monument for the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
— The New York Times