The dramatic true story of five brilliant young soldiers from Harvard, this is a thrilling tale of combat and heroism.
Five Lieutenants tells the story of five young Harvard men who took up the call to arms in the spring of 1917 and met differing fates in the maelstrom of battle on the western front in 1918. Delving deep into the motivations, horrific experiences, and ultimate fates of this Harvard-educated quintet - and by extension, of the brilliant young officer class that left its collegiate and postcollegiate pursuits to enlist in the army and lead America's rough-and-ready doughboys - Five Lieutenants presents a unique, timeless, and fascinating account of citizen soldiers at war and of the price these extraordinary men paid while earnestly giving all they had in an effort to end "the war to end all wars."
Drawing on the subjects' intimate, eloquent, and uncensored letters and memoirs, this is a fascinating microcosm of the American experience in the First World War and of the horrific experiences and hardships faced by the educated class of young men who were relied upon to lead doughboys in the trenches and, ultimately, in open battle.
James Carl Nelson is a journalist who has worked as a staff writer for the Miami Herald. He is a member of the Western Front Association, which is devoted to the study of the Great War. He lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
"WWI historian and journalist Nelson relates the heroic story of five former Harvard students who became combat leaders, inspiring the infantry 'doughboys' of WWI…. Writing with great knowledge of and sensitivity for his subject, Nelson ensures that the experiences, thoughts and aspirations of the young Harvard men of 1918 are not lost to future generations." (
"An intimate tracking of officers' perspectives during World War I…This eloquent work of the toll of war builds moving stories through a wealth of personal detail." ( Kirkus Reviews)
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