BOOKS AND LECTURES

‘Last of the Doughboys’ author speaks Oct. 3 at Thompson Free Library

Posted Sept. 28, 2013, at 3:57 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Location: Thompson Free Library, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Richard Rubin, author of “The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten War,” will speak at the next free public event in the James Brown Lecture Series at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Thompson Free Library.

Rubin’s appearance is being jointly sponsored by the library and the Foxcroft Academy Social Studies Department. Rubin will also speak to Foxcroft Academy students at the school during the day on Oct. 3.

Published earlier this year by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, “The Last of the Doughboys” is a conversational history of America’s experience in World War I as recalled by its last surviving veterans. In 2003, 85 years after the armistice ending the War to End All Wars, Rubin began tracking down and interviewing American veterans, centenarians all.

It took the author months to find just one living World War I veteran, but he eventually managed to find dozens, aged 101 to 113, and interview them. Recovering the survivors’ stories became a decade long odyssey, and a race against time. All are gone now.

Described as a fusion of reportage, memoir and history, Rubin’s “The Last of the Doughboys” provides a fascinating account of the American experience in the Great War. The book is also a moving meditation on character, grace, aging and the power of memory.

A writer and teacher, Rubin has written more than a dozen essays and articles for The Atlantic Monthly, and has also written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Smithsonian, Parade, Slate, The Daily Beast, and AARP Magazine. Rubin’s previously published books include “Confederacy of Silence: A True Tale of the New Old South,” and “Everyday American History of the 20th Century.”

The lecture series has been endowed with memorial funds donated to the Thompson Free Library in memory of James Brown, who died in a boating accident in 2008. The series presents lectures on topics related to history, literature and culture. Brown was the longtime chair of the English Department at Foxcroft Academy, and was also president of the Thompson Free Library Association.

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