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The Last of the Doughboys by Richard Rubin
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The Last of the Doughboys

The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War

$20.99

Retail price: $29.95

Discount: 29%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Narrator Grover Gardner

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Length 20 hours 8 minutes
Language English
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In 2003, eighty-five 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 found dozens, aged 101 to 113, and interviewed them. All are gone now.

A decade-long odyssey to recover the story of a forgotten generation and their war led Rubin across the United States and France, through archives, private collections, 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.

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 airplane; an eighteen-year-old Bronx girl “drafted” to work for the War Department; a machine gunner from Montana; a marine wounded at Belleau Wood; the sixteen-year-old who became America's last World War I veteran; and 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 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.

Richard Rubin is the author of Confederacy of Silence. He has written for the Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, New YorkerSmithsonian, and New York magazine. He lives in New York and Maine.

Grover Gardner is an award-winning narrator with over a thousand titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.

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Reviews

“Before the Greatest Generation, there was the Forgotten Generation of World War I, the remaining members of which are depicted in this gloriously colorful swan song…A wonderfully engaging study executed with a lot of heart.”

“Grover Gardner provides the perfect easy-toned American voice for these personal stories of WWI…A very special listening experience. Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award.”

“Awash in interesting—and poignant—stories.”

“The book succeeds by creating degrees of connection, even as it reshapes our consciousness.”

“His book is a fitting epitaph to brave men too often overlooked.”

“[A] masterful tribute to those who participated in a conflict that continues to shape the world today.”

“A fascinating view of history through the eyes of those that made it.”

“His research and battlefield visits help us picture the background to the survivors’ stories.”

“Richard Rubin has performed an extraordinary feat of World War I sleuthing…Rubin refers to these doughboys as ‘the forgotten generation.’ Yet he brings them back unforgettably. And his book is addictively readable.”

“The most riveting and astonishing book about World War I that I have read in a decade.”

“More than just a collection of memories. It is a moving tribute…This intimately written book will stand at the forefront of World War I literature for many years to come.”

“A living, breathing monument to an almost criminally unsung generation of American heroes—and a vivid and richly detailed portrayal of their era and their war. Beautifully and knowledgably written.”

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