The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War

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“Before the Greatest Generation, there was the Forgotten Generation of World War I . . . wonderfully engaging” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
 
“Richard Rubin has done something that will never be possible for anyone to do again. His interviews with the last American World War I veterans—who have all since died—bring to vivid life a cataclysm that changed our world forever but that remains curiously forgotten here.” —Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914–1918
 
In 2003, eighty-five years after the end of World War I, Richard Rubin set out to see if he could still find and talk to someone who had actually served in the American Expeditionary Forces during that colossal conflict. Ultimately he found dozens, aged 101 to 113, from Cape Cod to Carson City, who shared with him at the last possible moment their stories of America’s Great War.
 
Nineteenth-century men and women living in the twenty-first century, they were self-reliant, humble, and stoic, never complaining, but still marveling at the immensity of the war they helped win, and the complexity of the world they helped create. Though America has largely forgotten their war, you will never forget them, or their stories. A decade in the making, The Last of the Doughboys is the most sweeping look at America’s First World War in a generation, a glorious reminder of the tremendously important role America played in the “war to end all wars,” as well as a moving meditation on character, grace, aging, and memory.
 
“An outstanding and fascinating book. By tracking down the last surviving veterans of the First World War and interviewing them with sympathy and skill, Richard Rubin has produced a first-rate work of reporting.” —Ian Frazier, author of Travels in Siberia
 
“I cannot remember a book about that huge and terrible war that I have enjoyed reading more in many years.” —Michael Korda, The Daily Beast
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About the author

Richard Rubin is the author of Confederacy of Silence. He has written for the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Smithsonian, and New York magazine. He lives in New York and Maine. Learn more about Rubin at www.thelastofthedoughboys.com or follow him on twitter @LastDoughboys.
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4.6
17 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
May 21, 2013
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Pages
528
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ISBN
9780547843698
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Veterans
History / Military / World War I
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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A compelling and vivid portrait of a Deep South community poised between the past and the future, this is the stunning true story of how a young New York writer plunged into a closed Mississippi society, and what happened when he came out on the other side.

Fresh out of the Ivy League, New Yorker Richard Rubin answers a help-wanted ad for a journalist and suddenly finds himself thrust into the center of Greenwood, Mississippi, an old Delta town just beginning to submit to the realities of life in modern America. To Rubin's great surprise, Greenwood embraces him as he sets out to cover its many stories; soon, to his much greater surprise, he embraces Greenwood too, adapting so well that he even becomes a fervent booster of the local high school's football team.

While covering that team, he meets Handy Campbell, its star seventeen-year-old quarterback, a poor, unknown black kid from the projects who had never played on any team before his senior year. But Handy is also the greatest natural talent anyone can recall, and by the end of the season, he has won unimaginable glory. Rubin comes to believe that their careers will somehow rise together -- the cub reporter and his prize scoop -- in Greenwood and beyond.

But Greenwood's welcoming face hides darker secrets, and ultimately Rubin must leave it in order to preserve his own sense of right and wrong. As he departs, he is at least comforted by the knowledge that Handy Campbell will also be leaving Greenwood, bound for a powerhouse college football program that regularly sends its players to the NFL.

Six years later, Rubin is back in New York when he learns that Handy Campbell is not in the NFL but in Greenwood once again, charged with murdering a good friend. Rubin returns south to cover the trial and trace the trail that took Handy from Mississippi State University to the Leflore County Jail -- including, he discovers, the sinister sabotaging of his erstwhile prize scoop's football career. In the process, Rubin is forced to confront his own unresolved feelings about Greenwood, as the best and worst elements of the town rise up once again, starker than ever, to do battle over one man's fate.

Rubin's narrative, populated with a gallery of unforgettable characters, leads readers through a series of fascinating stories, suspense-laced revelations, and startling plot twists. Bold and beautifully written, Confederacy of Silence is a rare glimpse at how differently a small town regards two outsiders in its midst, and a tale of how all three of them are changed forever by the dawning of the New Old South.
Frozen in Time is a gripping true story of survival, bravery, and honor in the vast Arctic wilderness during World War II, from Mitchell Zuckoff, the author of New York Times bestseller Lost in Shangri-La.

On November 5, 1942, a US cargo plane slammed into the Greenland Ice Cap. Four days later, the B-17 assigned to the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on board survived, and the US military launched a daring rescue operation. But after picking up one man, the Grumman Duck amphibious plane flew into a severe storm and vanished.

Frozen in Time tells the story of these crashes and the fate of the survivors, bringing vividly to life their battle to endure 148 days of the brutal Arctic winter, until an expedition headed by famed Arctic explorer Bernt Balchen brought them to safety. Mitchell Zuckoff takes the reader deep into the most hostile environment on earth, through hurricane-force winds, vicious blizzards, and subzero temperatures.

Moving forward to today, he recounts the efforts of the Coast Guard and North South Polar Inc. – led by indefatigable dreamer Lou Sapienza – who worked for years to solve the mystery of the Duck’s last flight and recover the remains of its crew.

A breathtaking blend of mystery and adventure Mitchell Zuckoff's Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II is also a poignant reminder of the sacrifices of our military personnel and a tribute to the everyday heroism of the US Coast Guard.

From the acclaimed military historian, a history of the outbreak of World War I: the dramatic stretch from the breakdown of diplomacy to the battles—the Marne, Ypres, Tannenberg—that marked the frenzied first year before the war bogged down in the trenches.

In Catastrophe 1914, Max Hastings gives us a conflict different from the familiar one of barbed wire, mud and futility. He traces the path to war, making clear why Germany and Austria-Hungary were primarily to blame, and describes the gripping first clashes in the West, where the French army marched into action in uniforms of red and blue with flags flying and bands playing. In August, four days after the French suffered 27,000 men dead in a single day, the British fought an extraordinary holding action against oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost the British held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres. Hastings also re-creates the lesser-known battles on the Eastern Front, brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs inflicted three million casualties upon one another by Christmas. 

As he has done in his celebrated, award-winning works on World War II, Hastings gives us frank assessments of generals and political leaders and masterly analyses of the political currents that led the continent to war. He argues passionately against the contention that the war was not worth the cost, maintaining that Germany’s defeat was vital to the freedom of Europe. Throughout we encounter statesmen, generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations in Hastings’s accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts: generals dismounting to lead troops in bayonet charges over 1,500 feet of open ground; farmers who at first decried the requisition of their horses; infantry men engaged in a haggard retreat, sleeping four hours a night in their haste. This is a vivid new portrait of how a continent became embroiled in war and what befell millions of men and women in a conflict that would change everything.
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