W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award recipient named

Contact: Cheryl Malden

Program Officer


For Immediate Release

June 3, 2005

W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award recipient named

CHICAGO – Jeff Shaara's book, “To The Last Man: A Novel of the First World War,” published by Ballantine is the winner of the W. Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award for Excellence in Military Fiction.

The W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. The $5,000 award and citation, donated by author W.Y. Boyd, recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction.

Recent history has often overlooked the First World War and the men who fought in it. Jeff Shaara's novel, “To The Last Man,” places the courage, valor and horrors of that conflict in historical perspective through the eyes and emotions of several individuals. Some are well known to history while others are obscure. In this novel, set primarily in 1916 to 1918, the author allows the reader to follow John J. Pershing and others like Roscoe Temple into battle, and experience the muck, mire and the horrors of trench warfare. The reader also soars through the skies with Baron Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) and his American adversary Raoul Lufbery. The author also supports these central characters with a wide range of other individuals who lived and died fighting for cause, country and their companions. “To The Last Man” is a gripping and passionate work that lets the reader understand the consequences of this tragic event.

“Jeff Shaara, author of “To The Last Man: A Novel of the First World War,” has written an epic account of modern warfare,” said Chair Robert Schnare. “The author allows you to see the war through the eyes and emotions of several main characters who fought in the trenches and who fought in the skies. The novel is a stunning account of the period in history when the world had lost its sense of humanity.”

Jeff Shaara was once one of the most widely known precious-metals dealers in Florida. When Jeff's father - Michael Shaara, the Pulitzer prize-winning author for fiction – died, Jeff sold his business and managed his father's estate. During the filming of “The Killer Angels,” his father's Pulitzer novel, the director approached Jeff about finding an author to continue the story and write a prequel and sequel to it. With no previous experience as a writer, Jeff decided to tackle the project. His first novel “Gods and Generals” won the 1997 W.Y. Boyd Award. In February 2003, the major motion picture “Gods and Generals,” was released by Warner Brothers. “ To The Last Man: A Novel of the First World War” is Shaara's sixth novel. He resides in New York.

Members of the 2005 W.Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award jury are: Chair Robert Schnare, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.; Lawrence Clemens, United States Naval Academy, Nimitz Library, Annapolis, Md.; Nancy Davenport, Council on Library and Information Resources, Washington, DC; Maxine Reneker, Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library, Monterey, Calif.; James Schenkel, Library of Congress, Washington DC; Ronald Steensland, Panama City, Fla.

The W.Y. Boyd Award will be presented on Tuesday, June 28, 2005, during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.