• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Fighting Bunch: The Battle of Athens by Chris DeRose

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Nothing happened in McMinn County unless the corrupt Machine profited by it...until the local GIs returned home from World War II and decided to set things right again for their families and community.

The young men of McMinn County, Tennessee, are coming home after fighting in World War II. But the disturbing scenes they find upon their return surpass even the outrageous tales they've been told by family and friends. The deep corruption of the Machine running things in the town of Athens, Tennessee, and across the county extends through the police force, the judicial system, and local elections and voting. Nothing happens unless the Machine okays it, profits by it, and assigns the people in charge of it.


But the brave GIs didn't survive years of brutal battles and ensure returning in a much-anticipated homecoming in order to see their loved ones pushed around by swaggering, greedy, corrupt men who think they're untouchable. If there's a way to end the reign of the wide-reaching Machine, these are just the clever, fearless, determined citizens to do it.

I was completely taken with the compelling story of the spunky main players; the shockingly blatant, pervasive cheating and stealing by those in office locally and across the state; and the way the story unfolded to its crisis point. (And that's before I realized that friends of ours are from Athens, which added a layer to the legendary story for me.)


I received a prepublication copy of this book from St. Martin's Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Have you read this book? Had you ever heard of this story? I couldn't get over the facts of the situation--and this was my middle-of-the-night book, so my constantly astounded reactions didn't exactly help me get back to sleep.


If you like compelling nonfiction, you might also want to check out the post Six of the Best Nonfiction Books I've Read This Year.


I mentioned this book (along with The Empress and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue) in the Greedy Reading List Three Books I'm Reading Now, 12/2/20 Edition.