When Allied Forces were engaging Rommel in North Africa during WW2, as usual the frontline troops had the heaviest casualties. So when Act.Sgt.Michael Santini is successful in guiding his mis-matched and depleted international Special Forces squad through a rear-guard defense in the Kasserine...
Michael Santini: Having long ago lost his faith and lived beyond despair, New York taxi driver finds that in leading a squad of commandos he is still a moral force. His competency and decency are salient characteristics, and so too is a sensitivity in the ways he helps his men and animals. His initial hatred towards an army nurse turns around in ways he never expects.
Jane Barnes: Main child character in The Angry Dust, also by William Davey, Jane is now a woman who survived the Oklahoma Dust Bowl years and is determined never to make the monetary faults of her father. Her zealousness to attain a fortune in wartime leads her into love, hatred, espionage and danger.
Stanislaus Warniak: Major literary criminal figure who is psychologically intense. Arch enemy of Michael Santini.
Major Grace: Legal officer, deadly afraid of death by chemical weapons, who manages to pull off an astounding win during a military courts-martial trial.
Pop: Old-school cavalryman who keeps the unit grounded.
homesickness: Montoya, a spanish-american member of the section, remembers his sheep at home moving slowly along a road: "everything moved forward except the dust".
poverty: A major theme. Yet the book does not extol poverty as good for the soul as do some religious organizations.
hatred: The hatred between Santini and Warniak start as early as Chapter One and concludes at the last chapter. Odon von Horvath said, "With love, a man may reach heaven:with hatred, we shall go farther." But Santini has already reached heaven, and now he goes farther by killing the man responsible for the death of the girl he loved.
ghosts: A British brigadier, Hawkwood, realizes that commanding officers on both sides are really motivated by the ghosts of memories of previously massacred comrades.
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