“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.
In The Long Way Home, award-winning writer David Laskin traces the lives of a dozen men who left their childhood homes in Europe, journeyed through Ellis Island, and started over in a strange land—only to cross the Atlantic again in uniform when their adopted country entered the Great War.
Though they had known little of America outside of tight-knit ghettos and backbreaking labor, these foreign-born conscripts were rapidly transformed into soldiers, American soldiers, in the ordeal of war. Two of the men in this book won the Medal of Honor. Three died in combat. Those who survived were profoundly altered–and their heroic service reshaped their families and ultimately the nation itself.
Epic, inspiring, and masterfully written, this book is an unforgettable true story of the Great War, the world it remade, and the humble, loyal men who became Americans by fighting for America.
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.
The long way home
A very good explanation of immigration to the U.
S. At the turn of the century. The grandchildren of these immigrants have questions. This book puts one there.