To the Last Man
- A Novel of the First World War
- Narrated by: Paul Michael
- Length: 31 hrs and 11 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 16-09-15
- Language: English
- Publisher: Random House Audio
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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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Linda Baldwin on 19-08-17
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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kim Hamblin, PhD on 22-05-17
More than a novel, more than the typical approach to a history. I always enjoy a book if I feel like I learned a lot. I wasn't aware at all of the political maneuvering involved or the pressure on Pershing. I also didn't realize America's entry into the war was so late. The perspective from the Marine's point of view brought home the grisly horrors of "the war to end all wars" and the misery in the trenches. When I read something like this, I am inspired to look further and looked for more on the Red Baron and the Lafayette Escadrille. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By AGreviewer on 21-05-17
World War ZZZZZZZZZ.....
Usually love Jeff Shaara's work. This is his only swing and a miss. The pacing is off. He focuses way too long on Richthofen and Lufberry while treating the ground war as an afterthought. He ignores the vast majority of notable people in the war, only mentioning them in the afterword. To be honest, it was just boring. How you make one of the most horrific wars in history boring in the telling is beyond me but he did it. Hopefully his upcoming Korean War book will be back to his usual form. Still a fan, just not of this one.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful