The Bonus

Georgia Lowe, Lucky Dime (www.luckydimepress.com), $18.95 (398p) ISBN 978-0-615-37145-0
Lowe's debut is a well-done historical epic that captures an undeservedly obscure episode from the Great Depression. In 1932, veterans from across the country converged on Washington, D.C., to demand payment of bonuses earned during WWI. Despite rampant unemployment and hunger, President Herbert Hoover vows to veto any legislation to move up the payment date—the bonuses aren't due for more than a decade—leaving the suffering veterans little recourse but to rally public support for their cause by marching on the Capitol. The vicissitudes of their efforts are nicely illumined through a diverse cast of characters, including L.A. reporter Will Hardy—whose coverage of actor Royal Robertson, who issued one of the calls to march leads him to follow the story across the country—and Col. Pelham Glassford, who uses his position as D.C. police superintendent to both maintain public order and treat the marchers humanely. The author makes good use of her material, some of which is derived from stories from her parents, themselves Bonus Marchers.
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
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