Honoring the Doughboys. Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary.

Photographs by Jeffrey A. Lowdermilk. Text by Helen Patton and Jeffrey A. Lowdermilk.
George F. Thompson Publishing, 2014. 152 pp., 2 color maps, 2 historic black-and-white photographs, and 50 color illustrations, 9½x10½x¾".



Publisher's Description

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a stunning presentation of contemporary photographs taken by the author that are paired with diary entries written by his grandfather, George A. Carlson, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. Lowdermilk followed his grandfather's path through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and returned with these meticulously crafted photographs and his own engaging stories that bring the diary to life for contemporary readers. 

Lowdermilk's passion for World War I and military history began as a young boy when he listened to his grandfather tell his stories about serving as an infantryman— a "doughboy"—in Europe during the Great War. When his grandfather passed away in 1983, Lowdermilk's mother gave him her father's diary, which included not only lengthy descriptions of the landscapes, towns, and battles he had experienced, but also keen observations and insights about life as a doughboy for Mr. Carlson and his buddies. 

Lowdermilk became fascinated with the diary, first transcribing it and then plotting his grandfather's course. He immersed himself in the history of World War I and its geography, eventually retracing, more than a dozen years, the path of his grandfather's journey. 

This image-rich tour of European landscapes, battlefields, and monuments offers the reader an experience that is at once an intimate reliving of Carlson's time as a doughboy, a lively collection of Lowdermilk's travel anecdotes, and a moving expression of gratitude to American veterans of the Great War. The foreword by Helen Patton, granddaughter of General George S. Patton, Jr., adds an extra dimension to the narrative.

 Nominated for a 2015 IPPY Award" from the Independent Publishers Association 

REVIEWS

This is a uniquely beautiful and touching book by a renowned photographer. Jeffrey Lowdermilk inherited his grandfather's diary from World War I . The hand-written book details the places and the terrible battles of the many he was in while a doughboy soldier. Jeffrey, who had loved to read about World War I history since he was a young reader, became fascinated by the diary and decided to go as a photographer to the places described in such detail and try to follow his heroic grandfather's footsteps and learn more from experiencing the places and people. He traveled extensively through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany where his grandfather, George A Carlson, had served with the American Expeditionary Forces. He met many of the veteran soldiers from that period of history and became friendly, eliciting their stories about those times also, helping Jeffrey to make the history more real and personal. He used his skills as photographer to make images of the places, the cemeteries, bridges, buildings, landscapes where these battles had taken place, as well as pictures of the many re-enactments that take place from time to time now. The touching foreword is written by Helen Patton, the granddaughter of the same doughboy soldier. I believe this book is a moving portrait of the history of about a century ago, when the world was so troubled. Anyone interested in history will find this book very touching and worthwhile because it truly makes history come alive in an unforgettable way.
—Bonnie Neely


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