The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
By Richard Rubin
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. 356pgs. Nonfiction
In the early 2000s, there was a lot of talk about the rapid expiration of living WWII veterans, and the need to preserve their names and stories. Richard Rubin, however, realized that there were a very few living veterans from the first world war, all aged between 101 and 113, and he set out to find and interview as many WWI vets as he could. Mr. Rubin weaves their individual stories into an amazing narrative that offers profound insight into the individual experience (and cost) of an entire world at the first industrial war.
This book is very moving. Not many people know the causes, conflicts, and outcomes of the first world war, although it continues to shape the world we live in to this day. It’s impossible to overstate the impact that WWI had on every aspect of life, both for individuals and for entire continents. I would recommend this book to everyone.