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Book about Camp Robinson, military life North of the River goes on sale Monday

Ray Hanley
Ray Hanley

A book about Camp Robinson and military activity North of the River goes on sale to the public starting Monday, April 14. The book is entitled “Camp Robinson and the Military on the North Shore.”

Author and Arkansas native Ray Hanley will be appearing at a book signing on Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m. at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, 503 E. 9th St., Little Rock.

The book will cost $21.99 and will be available through local retailers, online bookstores or though Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or calling 1-888-313-2665.

Formerly known as Fort Roots and Camp Pike, Camp Robinson guards the bulk of Arkansas military history. Named for U.S. Sen. Joseph T. Robinson, Camp Robinson has served the state and country well as a World War II training center and, currently, as the home of the Arkansas National Guard.

Hanley recounts the bravery of Arkansas soldiers in Camp Robinson and the Military on the North Shore, the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series.

“Arkansas, from its pre-statehood pioneer days, has always been among the quickest to answer the nations’ call in times of war,” Hanley said.

In more than 200 historic images, Hanley chronicles the birth of Camp Robinson and the Arkansas military.

“From its origins on a small 36-acre site on the outskirts of Little Rock to a much larger and sustained presence north of the river, the military in central Arkansas has a rich heritage of service, sacrifice, and honor,” Stephen McAteer, Executive Director of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, said.

This book focuses not only on the past, but also the present, as Hanley pays tribute to fallen Arkansas soldiers, including 20 members of the Arkansas National Guard who have been killed in action since 2001. Camp Robinson contains stories of a camp’s past, a state’s present, and a country’s future.

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States.

Hanley has served his state as the Arkansas Medicaid Director for 16 years under three different governors, including Bill Clinton and is currently the President and CEO of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care. Hanley has authored or co-authored more than a dozen Arcadia titles. When not working, Ray enjoys being with his family at their Arkansas log cabin near the Buffalo National River.

Hanley said he doesn’t plan on profiting from his authorship of the book.

“I’ve given the museum all the royalties to the book and of course any they sell in the gift shop is nice profit,” Hanley said.

Hanley said the book seeks to tell the story of the military presence on the North Shore of the river from Fort Roots, to Camp Pike in World War I and Camp Robinson before and during World War II, ending with a segment on the role of Camp Robinson and the National Guard today.

“I don’t think people ever thought about the thread of military history/service that runs through the area for more than a century…and perhaps this book will do that,” Hanley said. “I think the story is told through more than 200 photos, most of which have never been in print before, photos supplemented by artifacts like draft cards and World War I posters that help tell the story.”

Hanley said he hopes the reader comes away with a greater appreciation of both the history and the contribution the north shore made to the welfare of the nation.

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