by Bob Greene

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Review

Journalist Bob Greene tells the little-known story of the North Platte Canteen, the railroad depot in North Platte, Nebraska, where over six million servicemen and women were fed, thanked, and entertained during their cross-country train journeys during World War II.  The book consists mostly of interviews with women who volunteered in the Canteen during the war, as well as memories of the troops who have never forgotten the kindness they received during those 10-minute stops in North Platte several decades prior.  The stories are heartwarming, for sure, and the North Platte of that era was certainly ripe for a hagiography, but I found the book extremely repetitive, and the lack of photographs of the Canteen (the cover photo is the only one!) was a huge oversight.  Readers interested in learning more about how civilians supported the war effort may enjoy this, as might those hankering for a story about the good old days.

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