Jimmy Gentry was one of nine children who grew up in a working-class Williamson county family during the Depression. Franklin, Tennessee was a small, intimate community surrounded by fields and woods, and by unspoiled streams during the days of his boyhood. After the death of his father, he became an expert hunter, trapper, and fisherman in order to provide for his struggling family. Jimmy Gentry was a noted high school athlete, and at the age of 18 he went to war to help defend his nation. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for his actions during the invasion of Germany, and he was among the first Allied troops to enter Dachau, the infamous Nazi death camp. He returned to Franklin and became one of Williamson County's most widely-known citizens, serving as a teacher and a coach for over half a century. An American Life chronicles a time that has all but disappeared--both in Franklin and in small-town America. It gives one soldier's account of surviving war and encountering horror, and tells what became of Williamson County over the years that followed the return of that soldier. An American Life is a book about Jimmy Gentry, about Franklin, and about America. Jimmy Gentry lives three miles west of Franklin, Tennessee along with his wife Rebecca, their three children, and their five grandchildren, on their farm Pleasant View. He operates his summer camp, draws, paints, and is a continuing presence in the lives of his many friends and admirers.