Five Lieutenants: The Heartbreaking Story of Five Harvard Men Who Led America to Victory in World War I

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: James Carl Nelson

Narrated By: Geoffrey Blaisdell

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: November 2012

Duration: 12 hours 8 minutes


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.

"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."-Publishers Weekly


  • ray kielsmeier

    I wasn't quite sure at the start about this one. But after it got going I really enjoyed learning about these young men. There just are not many books about WW1 and what these guys went through. A lot of them were around when I was a kid and young adult. My uncle was gassed. He was an old man and suffered to his last day. So different from any other war and in so many ways the worst ever.