The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
In 2003, 85 years after the armistice, it took Richard Rubin months to find just one living American veteran of World War I. But then, he found another. And another. Eventually he managed to find dozens, aged 101 to 113, and interview them. All are gone now.
A decade-long odyssey to recover the story of a forgotten generation and their Great War led Rubin across the United States and France, through archives, private collections, and battlefields, literature, propaganda, and even music. But at the center of it all were the last of the last, the men and women he met: a new immigrant, drafted and sent to France, whose life was saved by a horse; a Connecticut Yankee who volunteered and fought in every major American battle; a Cajun artilleryman nearly killed by a German aeroplane; an 18-year-old Bronx girl “drafted” to work for the War Department; a machine-gunner from Montana; a Marine wounded at Belleau Wood; the 16-year-old who became America's last WWI veteran; and many, many more.
They were the final survivors of the millions who made up the American Expeditionary Forces, nineteenth-century men and women living in the twenty-first century. Self-reliant, humble, and stoic, they kept their stories to themselves for a lifetime, then shared them at the last possible moment, so that they, and the World War they won – the trauma that created our modern world – might at last be remembered. You will never forget them. The Last of the Doughboys is more than simply a war story: It is a moving meditation on character, grace, aging, and memory.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - cyderry - LibraryThing
This book was definitely not what I expected. However, it was thoroughly engaging and filled some of the gaps from other books on why the American involvement in WWI was as it was. This narrative was ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - sleahey - LibraryThing
This account of World War I is especially fascinating because of the live interviews the author conducted with the last living veterans, who were aged 101-113. His respect for them is clear, and his ... Read full review
No Mans Land
1 Wolves on the Battlefield
2 Over the Top
3 The American Sector
4 Cheer and Laughter and Joyous Shout
5 The People Behind the Battle
6 The Forgotten Generation
7 Give a Little Credit to the Navy
12 Old Dixieland in France
14 A Wicked Gun That Machine Gun
15 Wasnt a Lot of Help
16 The Last Night of the War
17 The Last of the Last
18 We Are All Missing You Very Much
8 A Vast Enterprise in Salesmanship
9 Hell We Just Got Here
10 We Didnt See a Thing
11 Loyal True Straight and Square
Other editions - View all
The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten ...
Limited preview - 2013