To the Last Man

  • by Jeff Shaara
  • Narrated by Paul Michael
  • 31 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jeff Shaara has enthralled audiences with his New York Times best-selling 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.

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What the Critics Say

"A gripping account of World War I - from tactics to strategy...Jeff Shaara shows the dominance of the US 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)
"A riveting masterpiece revolving around the ghastly conflict that still profoundly defines the world we live in. With To the Last Man, Shaara cements his reputation as a war writer of Tolstoyan or Homeric dimensions." (Steve Forbes)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Real Horrors of War

If you could sum up To the Last Man in three words, what would they be?

We've all read about how terrible war is and its consequences, but Jeff Shaara has brought to life the true tragedy and misery of what these poor kids in the trenches really had to endure. Movies don't depict the lice, the mud, the rotten food and the complete misery and suffering imposed on these troops. And although the pilots had it a bit better when it comes to living conditions, they all knew that their chances of surviving the war was close to nil. This should be required reading for any leader who thinks that war would be an acceptable option. My admiration for General Pershing has grown tenfold. He was another person in the right place at the right time in history. If the Americans had not entered the war, I fear that we would still be fighting it.


What was one of the most memorable moments of To the Last Man?

My husband's grandfather was killed at Ypres practically right after he got off the boat. This same scene was depicted in this story. There was no slow introduction to life in the trenches; it was jump in and join the misery.


Which character – as performed by Paul Michael – was your favourite?

We followed Patton in WWII and could not help but chuckle at his antics. Seeing the young Patton come up the ranks and lead the charge right in with his men shows that although he was a kook, he was a great general.


Any additional comments?

This is the fourth Jeff Shaara book I have listened to and each and everyone of them has been riveting and full of historical fact. I find it totally unbelievable that the Germans could think of entering into another devastating war after this horror was over. I can now understand why so many Germans are still fearful of fielding an army.

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- Linda Baldwin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-09-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio