Over the past decade, Richard Rubin sought out every last living American veteran of World War I—and uncovered a forgotten great generation, and their war. World War I was so cataclysmic that every town in America built a memorial to our doughboys, in the hope that they would never be forgotten. And yet today, thanks to the passing of nearly a century and an even more cataclysmic World War, they are.
Ten years ago, Richard Rubin set out to interview every last living doughboy—several dozen, aged 101 to 113. They shared with him, at the last possible moment (they are all gone now) the story of America’s Great War, and of the generation that raised the “Greatest Generation.” They were nineteenth-century men and women living in the twenty-first century: self-reliant, humble, and stoic; never complaining, still marveling at the immensity of the war they helped win. A decade in the making, The Last of the Doughboys is a sweeping new look at our forgotten World War, and a moving meditation on character, grace, aging, and memory.