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Legion of the Lost

The True Experience of an American in the French Foreign Legion
Narrated by: B.J. Harrison
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"From an air-conditioned Chicago office, Mr. Salazar took the express elevator straight to hell. Legion of the Lost is his story, the improbable, very funny tale of a sensitive, bookish child of Mexican immigrants who walked away from a promising career and, for romantic reasons, threw in his lot with a motley assortment of thugs, drunks, drug abusers, and desperate refugees from the far corners of the earth. And those are the ones giving orders." (New York Times)

King Louis Philippe II created the Foreign Legion in 1831 as a way to rid France of penniless immigrants and others considered a liability to the French establishment. The Foreign Legion still exists today as an elite army of modern mercenaries from around the world, in the service of la France.

Considered a haven for the dregs of society, joining the Foreign Legion was rumored to be simple, but it wasn't. Getting out of the Foreign Legion, as Salazar soon realized, proved impossible. So what was an engineering professional doing in the Legion of the Damned? For those Dostoevsky calls the "insulted and the injured," men of character who seek adventure in the most obscure places, the Legion offers refuge. After surrendering his passport, and with it, any human rights, the Legion gave Salazar a new name and life.

Even after finishing four months of what the Legion calls instruction, Salazar realized that his existence wasn't like that of Gary Cooper in Beau Geste. It was more a primitive life of beatings, marches, fanatical discipline, and sadistic NCOs. Idealists looking for a new beginning come to the Legion, but only the toughest, and cruelest are left to wear the Legion headdress, the képi blanc.

Once enlisted, there are three ways to leave the Legion: Finishing one's five-year contract, disability, or leaving in a box. While serving a term in Legion prison, Salazar came up with a fourth solution - escape.

©2019 Jaime R. Salazar (P)2019 Jaime R. Salazar

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