Richard Serrano, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Los Angeles Times, pens a story of two veterans. In the late 1950s, as America prepared for the Civil War centennial, two very old men lay dying. Albert Woolson, 109 years old, slipped in and out of a coma at a Duluth, Minnesota, hospital, his memories as a Yankee drummer boy slowly dimming. Walter Williams, at 117 blind and deaf and bedridden in his daughter's home in Houston, Texas, no longer could tell of his time as a Confederate forage master. The last of the Blue and the Gray were drifting away; an era was ending.
Unknown to the public, centennial officials, and the White House too, one of these men was indeed a veteran of that horrible conflict and one according to the best evidence nothing but a fraud. One was a soldier. The other had been living a great, big lie.
About Richard A. SerranoSee more books from this Author
Serrano’s an adequate writer, and the story could have been a decent long-form magazine article. As a book, however, there is just too much mystery-free filler.Read Full Review of Last of the Blue and Gray: Ol... | See more reviews from Kirkus
Told with clarity and skillfully paced, Serrano’s story of two old men and the mythology that grew up around them is intimate, expansive, and thoroughly entertaining.Read Full Review of Last of the Blue and Gray: Ol... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
Ultimately, "Last of the Blue and Gray" is a solid work on an intriguing subset of American history: scam artists and those whose insecurities drove them to conjure up military pasts they never had. And what's more American than the desire for a little re-invention?Read Full Review of Last of the Blue and Gray: Ol... | See more reviews from LA Times
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