Sunday, May 30, 2010

THE LONG WAY HOME: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE LONG WAY HOME

An American Journey from
Ellis Island to the Great War
BY DAVID LASKIN

ABOUT THE BOOK:

From the author of The Children's Blizzard comes an epic story of the sacrifice and service of an immigrant generation.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, one-third of the nation's population had been born overseas or had a parent who was an immigrant. At the peak of U.S. involvement in the war, nearly one in five American soldiers was foreign-born. Many of these immigrant soldiers—most of whom had been drafted—knew little of America outside of tight-knit ghettos and backbreaking labor. Yet World War I would change their lives and ultimately reshape the nation itself. Italians, Jews, Poles, Norwegians, Slovaks, Russians, and Irishmen entered the army as aliens and returned as Americans, often as heroes.

In The Long Way Home, award-winning writer David Laskin traces the lives of a dozen men, eleven of whom left their childhood homes in Europe, journeyed through Ellis Island, and started over in a strange land. After detailing the daily realities of immigrant life in the factories, farms, mines, and cities of a rapidly growing nation, Laskin tells the heartbreaking stories of how these men—both conscripts and volunteers—joined the army, were swept into the ordeal of boot camp, and endured the month of hell that ended the war at the Argonne, where they truly became Americans. Those who survived were profoundly altered—and their experiences would shape the lives of their families as well.

Epic, inspiring, and masterfully written, The Long Way Home is the unforgettable true story of the Great War, the world it remade, and the men who fought for a country not of their birth, but which held the hope and opportunity of a better way of life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David Laskin was born in New York in 1953 and educated at Harvard College and New College, Oxford. For the past twenty-five years, Laskin has written books and articles on a wide range of subjects, including history, weather, travel, gardens, and the natural world. His most recent book, The Children’s Blizzard, won the Washington State Book Award and the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award for Nonfiction. Laskin’s other titles include Braving the Elements: The Stormy History of American Weather, Partisans: Marriage, Politics and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals; A Common Life: Four Generations of American Literary Friendship and Influence; and Artists in their Gardens (coauthored with Valerie Easton). A frequent contributor to The New York Times Travel Section, Laskin also writes for the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, and Seattle Metropolitan. He and his wife, Kate O’Neill, the parents of three grown daughters, live in Seattle with their two sweet old dogs.

MY REVIEW:

David Laskin wrote a perfect book for me to review this Memorial Day, THE LONG WAY HOME. Immigration, a hot topic in today’s news, is what our country was built on, When we look back at how our “melting pot” of America began to grow in the late 19th and early 20th century, we find how millions of immigrants flocked to America, including my own father and all my grandparents. Many came to leave behind oppression, poverty, and famine. Many came to make a better life for themselves or their families. In Laskin’s book, he writes of 12 men who became Americans in a more difficult way than most of could ever imagine.

THE LONG WAY HOME follows the lives of 12 men who had been born in Europe, migrated to America and then returned to fight for their new country in World War I. Some actually wound up fighting against the same country they had earlier left. Laskin tells of each immigrant and what their lives in Europe were like before coming to America where they heard “the streets were paved with gold”. They suffered down in steerage to get here from Russia, Norway, Slovakia, Poland, Ireland, and Italy to settle in New England, or the far west, or many to the Lower East Side of New York.

Each of them had to put up with being looked down on and had to prove themselves worthy of being proud American citizens. Some even joined to fight as they thought they could gain their American citizen status that way. Being in the military didn’t grant them instant American respect as it was thought they would be poor candidates for soldiers due to malnutrition and the language barrier. And what of the psychological war they fought against their fellow native-born soldiers who made ethnic comments and insults? How could these men ever become useful military men the army wondered? But they were sent out even if they weren’t properly trained and the story Laskin writes describes their time in the trenches and battles, the horrors they saw, and the heroics they displayed!

David Laskin’s research is amazing. He used diaries, archives, military records, letters, and all kinds of primary sources, including actually meeting two of the men before they died in order to tell the story of these 12 men. He spoke with their families and some men who were in the same battles as these dozen soldiers. Laskin even had an interview with one veteran who was 107 years old. The photographs he was able to assemble just add to his wonderful descriptions, and make these men really come to life in this book. The last part of the book tells of how the men who survived worked their way back into society in their new homeland and what all they did before they died. Some were well into their 90s when they died so don’t think they all died in the war and I ruined the story for you. You will have to read about these fascinating Americans to find out just where they came from, and what they gave our country before they left it for good. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KYLE AND GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS
INSPIRING BOOK TO GIVE AWAY.




--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING INTERESTING YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT DAVID LASKIN FROM HIS WEBSITE HERE.

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ANOTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY OF MINE YOU HAVE ENTERED. PLEASE COMMENT ON ONLY ONE THIS TIME.


GIVEAWAY ENDS
6 PM, EST,
JUNE 11!

GOOD LUCK!

60 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm surprised at how many other books he has written but his name doesn't ring a bell with me. Which is why these giveaways do such a great service! Please enter me!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Cindy W. said...

I learned that David Laskin also authored The Children's Blizzard. I friend of mine told me about that book and how good it was but couldn't remember the author.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I also entered your giveaway for the Miracle on the 17th Green.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

debbie said...

It never ceases to amaze me, what people would go through to become American citizens. In that era they were willing to fight for a country that didn't always welcome them. I would love to read the book.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

traveler said...

Thanks for this wonderful giveaway. I am fascinated with this interesting book. David Laskin is a journalist as well. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Innocent giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Pricilla said...

He is the grandson of immigrants and I am the granddaughter - on both sides. Both of my grandmothers came over on "the boat"

I know my husband would love this book and I am sure I would too!
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Pricilla said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/BrokenTeepee/status/15073317109
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Pricilla said...

I entered Miracle on the 17th Green
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Colleen Turner said...

I entered Husband and Wife.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

The author was educated at Harvard and Oxford.
candc320@gmail.com

Linda Kish said...

For the past twenty-five years, Laskin has written books and articles on a wide range of subjects including history, weather, travel, gardens and the natural world.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I entered the Apologize, Apologize giveaway

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Margie said...

His most recent book, The Children’s Blizzard, won the Washington State Book Award and the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award for Nonfiction.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

I entered the giveaway for Apologize, Apologize.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Shannon said...

I love how the author, after watching his 3 daughters grow up, still refers to a baby as a "red-faced squalling demanding confusing bundle of needs."

tiredwkids at live dot com

Shannon said...

I also entered the Husband and Wife giveaway.

tiredwkids at live dot com

Bethie said...

I entered Miracle on the 17th Green giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

I love that he follows stories as the came through Ellis Island. I have so many relatives that came through there. I love to learn more about that.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Carol W. said...

I learned that the author is a frequent contributor to the New York Times travel section.

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol W. said...

I entered your Innocent giveaway.

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarah E said...

From the author's website, I learned that the author also wrote the The Children’s Blizzard, which won the Washington State Book Award and the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award for Nonfiction.

Please enter me in this giveaway!

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/15104139522

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I also entered the Latino Books Month giveaway.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Misusedinnocence said...

I entered the "What To Wear For The Rest Of Your Life" giveaway.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I think its awesome that David has a blog himself on his website.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Arch said...

I would have to agree with rhapsodyinbooks that, though David Laskin has written so many good books his name doesn't ring a bell for me... This book sounds interesting to me as I am from India and I feel it would be nice to read about immigrants and their plight during WW-1

archanaskorner(at)gmail(dot)com

Arch said...

I have also entered for the giveaway of "101 THINGS I LEARNED IN CULINARY SCHOOL".

I have to say, you have some very good books for your giveaways!!! :)

archanaskorner(at)gmail(dot)com

Pamela Keener said...

I have just read Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano which was about Italian immigrants. I would love to continue to read and learn more.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered "Three Wishes" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Shirley said...

His most recent book, The Children’s Blizzard, won the Washington State Book Award and the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award for Nonfiction

Thats what I found interesting.

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

FB: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001087052807&v=wall&story_fbid=127488897278683&ref=mf
shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

tweet: http://twitter.com/Grandmamaof10/status/15427376687
shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

I entered: THIS IS WHY YOU'RE FAT GIVEAWAY
shundelt@yahoo.com

christina said...

I found this interesting:
"For the past twenty-five years, Laskin has written books and articles on a wide range of subjects including history, weather, travel, gardens and the natural world."
christina101092@yahoo.com

christina said...

http://twitter.com/Christina101092/status/15443900313

christina101092@yahoo.com

christina said...

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100001144971475&v=wall&story_fbid=132016283482454&ref=mf

christina101092@yahoo.com

christina said...

+5 for swag buck sign up

christina101092@yahoo.com

christina said...

I entered the INNOCENT GIVEAWAY
christina1012092@yahoo.com

christina said...

I've entered EAT THE COOKIES BUY THE SHOES GIVEAWAY
christina101092@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

I found it interesting in the about book section he shows opictures of soldiers and their names. christina101092@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

+5 for swag buck entry

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

I entered Innocent giveaway

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

Posted on twitter:
http://twitter.com/Romantic73/status/15444244780

chirth7@yahoo.com

christine H said...

Posted on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100000641625482&v=wall&story_fbid=133027313377328

chirth7@yahoo.com

Margie said...

+5 for swag bucks entry
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

rubynreba said...

Entered The Cradle giveaway.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

His most recent book is The Children's Blizzard.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

joleehamlin said...

learned that he is a grandson of immigrants. joleehamlin @ comcast dot net

joleehamlin said...

Also entered the Cradle. Sounds good! joleehamlin @ comcast dot net

petite said...

I entered The Cradle. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

I know of his other novel which was fascinating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Christine H said...

http://bulletins.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bulletin.confirmation&mode=5&groupID=0&userID=533391661&authorID=0&messageID=0&commentID=0&commentAuthorID=0

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/2010/05/long-way-home-review-and-giveaway.html

chirth7@yahoo.com

Amy said...

I'm captivated by David Laskin's range of interests and the variety of topics he's written on. He has an extremely interesting blog as well which displays throughout the months of posts his varied interests...and he writes quite intelligently about all of them. I haven't heard of him before now - and thank you for bringing Mr. Laskin to my attention - but I certainly plan to read many of his books and writings.

Thank you for this giveaway!

~ Amy
Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Amy said...

I entered "If You Knew Suzy" Giveaway.


Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

Margie said...

Bree Tanner
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Benita said...

I learned that the author is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Travel Section, and writes for the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, and Seattle Metropolitan.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I entered Deliver Us from Evil.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Shirley said...

+5 for swag bucks

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