this book, author Jeff 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.
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
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.
Hardback, 672 pages, 6x9, 2004, $27.95.