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To the Last Man: A Novel of the First World Warby Jeffrey Shaara
Synopses & Reviews
Jeff Shaara has enthralled readers with his New York Times bestselling novels set during the Civil War and the American Revolution. Now the acclaimed author turns to World War I, bringing to life the sweeping, emotional story of the war that devastated a generation and established America as a world power. Spring 1916: the horror of a stalemate on Europe's western front. France and Great Britain are on one side of the barbed wire, a fierce German army is on the other. Shaara opens the window onto the otherworldly tableau of trench warfare as seen through the eyes of a typical British soldier who experiences the bizarre and the horrible — a "Tommy" whose innocent youth is cast into the hell of a terrifying war.
In the skies, meanwhile, technology has provided a devastating new tool, the aeroplane, and with it a different kind of hero emerges — the flying ace. Soaring high above the chaos on the ground, these solitary knights duel in the splendor and terror of the skies, their courage and steel tested with every flight.
As the conflict stretches into its third year, a neutral America is goaded into war, its reluctant president, Woodrow Wilson, finally accepting the repeated challenges to his stance of nonalignment. Yet the Americans are woefully unprepared and ill equipped to enter a war that has become worldwide in scope. The responsibility is placed on the shoulders of General John "Blackjack" Pershing, and by mid-1917 the first wave of the American Expeditionary Force arrives in Europe. Encouraged by the bold spirit and strength of the untested Americans, the world waits to see if the tide of war can finally be turned. From Blackjack Pershing to the Marine in the trenches, from the Red Baron to the American pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille, To the Last Man is written with the moving vividness and accuracy that characterizes all of Shaara's work. This spellbinding new novel carries readers — the way only Shaara can-to the heart of one of the greatest conflicts in human history, and puts them face-to-face with the characters who made a lasting impact on the world.
"Shaara's storytelling is occasionally mechanical...but his descriptions of individual combat in the air and the mass slaughter on the ground are stark, vivid and gripping." Publishers Weekly
"Shaara is at his best in describing scenes of battle....This is first-rate storytelling that aptly describes aspects of a conflict that continues to shape our world today."Booklist
"A gripping account of World War I — from tactics to strategy....Jeff Shaara shows the dominance of the U.S. military in the context of coalition warfare — as relevant today as it was in 1918." General Tommy R. Franks
"A sweeping, searching look at World War I. Jeff Shaara's novel rings with authenticity, from the feelings of frontline soldiers to the challenges of high-level command." General Wesley Clark
In this spellbinding new novel, the acclaimed author Shaara turns to World War I, bringing to life the sweeping, emotional story of the war that devastated a generation and established America as a world power. High school & older.
About the Author
JEFF SHAARA is the New York Times bestselling author of The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure-two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his fathers Pulitzer Prize—winning classic The Killer Angels. Jeff was born in 1952 into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives in Missoula, Montana. Visit the author online at www.JeffShaara.com.
From the Hardcover edition.
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