To the Last Man: A Novel of the First World War

Version: Abridged
Author: Jeff Shaara
Narrator: Philip Bosco
Genres: Historical Fiction, Europe, Military
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: October 2004
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

Jeff Shaara has enthralled readers with his "New York Times bestselling 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. 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.

"From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews (6)

To the Last Man

Written by Anonymous on May 2nd, 2018

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Not as good as other Shaara books I have read but that may be due in large part to it being drastically abridged. You get a lot of summary narrative instead of story from the characters. I would recommend it but only in the unabridged format. Don't waste time on the abridged version.

The Last Man

Written by Robert on March 15th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The story is historically accurate, but why the author included passages about the Red Barron and the air corps is beyond me. They have nothing to do with the main story and are forgotten by the end.

Wonderful

Written by Jeff on June 5th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Fabulous work, i could not stop listening. The listener is brought directly into the lives of participants within the war.

Disappointing

Written by Anonymous from Richmond, VA on July 20th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Disappointing first read of (listen to) a Jeffrey Shaara book after enjoying his father's Killer Angels. Little character development, very surface treatment of a brutal war, flew through time at a rapid pace.

I didn't like it

Written by Don on November 8th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I didn't like it at all. I've read well over twenty non fiction books on the first world war and the events leading up to it, which is a shame because there is not a lot of good fiction about this period of time that I enjoy. I thought it jumped around way too much, I'm thinking he should have settled on one person, family, or group of pals and how war affected them that would have worked much better. I think authors get caught up in the "breadth and scope" of events instead of just story telling, and using the events as back drop. If you know nothing about the First World war, I'd say go ahead and rent this, if you done any serious reading about it I would say avoid it. I might have liked the unabridged version much better, but the more I write this the more I think I don't think so.

to the last man

Written by Lee Werley from Chapel Hill, NC on January 23rd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I enjoy these but I did not like this one as well as his others.

Author Details

Author Details

Shaara, Jeff

"Jeff Shaara was born in 1952 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University in 1974, with a degree in Criminology. From age 16, Jeff operated a rare coin business, first out of his home, then in a retail store. In 1974, he moved to Tampa, Florida, and the business expanded. Eventually, Florida Coin Exchange became one of the most widely known precious-metals dealers in Florida. In 1988, Jeff's father, Michael Shaara, died, and Jeff made the decision to sell his business, and take over the management of his father's estate.

In 1993, during production of the Turner film ""Gettysburg,"" based on his father's classic novel, The Killer Angels, Jeff became friends with film director Ron Maxwell, who had been close to Michael Shaara for the many years it took to bring The Killer Angels to the screen. After the critical and commercial success of ""Gettysburg,"" Maxwell approached Jeff about the possibility of continuing the story, finding someone to write a prequel and sequel to The Killer Angels. After some considerable soul-searching, Jeff decided to try to tackle the project himself. The decision was difficult in many ways, but most challenging because Jeff had no previous experience as a writer.

Two years later, Ballantine Books published Jeff's first novel, Gods and Generals, the prequel to his father's great work. Two weeks after its debut, Gods and Generals leapt onto the New York Times Bestseller List, and rode a fifteen-week wave as a national bestseller. Critics nationwide praised the book and Jeff's writing ability. No one was more surprised than Jeff himself. In 1998, the sequel, The Last Full Measure, was published, with the same result: Thirteen weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, and universal praise from critics and fans nationwide.

Now a full time author, Jeff has recently completed his third novel for Ballantine, Gone for Soldiers, which will be released in the May 2000, and is beginning research on more historical projects.

Jeff, his wife Lynne, and their two cats divide their time between Florida and New York."