The Long Way Home: An American Journey from Ellis Island to the Great War

The Long Way Home: An American Journey from Ellis Island to the Great War

by David Laskin
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Long Way Home is a riveting remembrance of the Great War by a master writer…. Deeply compelling.” — Douglas Brinkley

“Moving, revealing, and lovingly researched, this book is a must read, and a great read, for any of us whose forebears came from overseas-meaning just about all of us.” — Erik Larson

…  See more details below

Overview

The Long Way Home is a riveting remembrance of the Great War by a master writer…. Deeply compelling.” — Douglas Brinkley

“Moving, revealing, and lovingly researched, this book is a must read, and a great read, for any of us whose forebears came from overseas-meaning just about all of us.” — Erik Larson

The author of the award-winning The Children’s Blizzard, David Laskin, returns with a remarkable true story of the immigrants who risked their lives fighting for America during the Great War.

Editorial Reviews

Steven V. Roberts
[America is] never perfect, never static, never finished. We are constantly enriched by new blood, energy and ideas. As Barack Obama put it in his inaugural address, "Our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness." In this compelling book, Laskin makes this same point by following the lives of 12 American doughboys who had been born in Europe and who then returned there to fight for their adopted country in World War I. It's an imaginative concept, and Laskin mines family legends and official documents to tell the stories of these ordinary foot soldiers from Italy and Ireland, Poland and Russia, Slovakia and Norway.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
At the height of America’s involvement in the Great War, nearly one in five of the 4.7 million Americans in uniform had been born overseas. Laskin (The Children’s Blizzard) chronicles the lives of 12 of these men who immigrated from Europe. The soldiers’ loyalty and pride in serving won them and their families the status of “real” Americans. Meyer Epstein, a Russian-Jewish plumber from New York’s Lower East Side, who had been living by his wits and muscle, was eventually awarded four Bronze Stars; marching with the American army through France was not much worse than his youth hauling junk around the shtetls of the Pale of Settlement with a horse and cart. Charming and fastidious Tony Pierro, a southern Italian gardener, drove horse-drawn supply wagons to and from the front in France, bringing munitions in and carting corpses out. Andrew Christofferson, drafted from his Montana homestead, was hungrier in the trenches in France than he’d been as a poor boy in Norway. This quietly absorbing glimpse of some of the brave soldiers who helped win WWI will appeal to history buffs. 16 pages of photos. (Mar.)
The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“David Laskin’s latest, The Long Way Home, reads with the heart-quickening pace of a novel as he focuses his gaze on a band of real-life characters who emigrated to the United States in the years just before World War I.”
Richard Slotkin
“David Laskin’s The Long Way Home is a brilliant blending of social analysis and personal narrative, which recovers the experience of a ‘lost generation’—the immigrant ‘greenhorns’ who became Americans through service on the battlefields of World War I.”
Erik Larson
“Moving, revealing, and lovingly researched, this book is a must read, and a great read, for any of us whose forebears came from overseas-meaning just about all of us.”
Douglas Brinkley
“A riveting remembrance of the Great War by a master writer. David Laskin, by homing in on the lives of a dozen immigrants to Ellis Island, is able to tell a grand American saga about the true cost of democracy. All around a deeply compelling narrative.”
Joseph Persico
“Laskin’s tracing of young immigrants, figuratively and literally, from Ellis Island to the trenches of World War I France blends moving personal stories, sociology, culture and military history. The result is a marvelous evocation of what it means to become an American and the many paths to that end.”
Andrew Carroll
“Riveting. . . . With the epic history of the Great War as his backdrop, Laskin has vividly brought these extraordinary, colorful men to life and created, overall, an absolute masterpiece.”
From the Publisher
"[A] quietly absorbing glimpse of some of the brave soldiers who helped win WWI." —Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
Laskin follows 12 men, born in Europe, who emigrated to America, made lives here, and eventually found themselves in the American Expeditionary Force of World War I. They mostly left tight-knit communities of immigrants—Italians, Jews, Poles, Slovaks, Russians, and Irish—to fight in Europe, but they returned as Americans, a sea change that affected the nation ever after. Strongly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/09.]

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061985348
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/16/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
395,345
File size:
5 MB

What People are saying about this

Erik Larson
“Moving, revealing, and lovingly researched, this book is a must read, and a great read, for any of us whose forebears came from overseas-meaning just about all of us.”
From the Publisher
"[A] quietly absorbing glimpse of some of the brave soldiers who helped win WWI." —-Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

David Laskin is the author of The Children's Blizzard, winner of the Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award for nonfiction and the Washington State Book Award. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Smithsonian magazine. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >