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Extended Audio Sample The Remains of Company D: A Story of the Great War Audiobook, by James Carl Nelson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 5 3.25 (12 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Carl Nelson Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781455196821
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Haunted by an ancestor’s tale of near death on a distant battlefield, James Carl Nelson set out in pursuit of the scraps of memory of his grandfather’s small infantry unit. Years of travel across the world led to the retrieval of unpublished personal papers, obscure memoirs, and communications from numerous doughboys, as well as original interviews with the descendents of his grandfather’s comrades in arms. The result is a compelling tale of battle rooted in new primary sources, and one man’s search for his grandfather’s legacy in a horrifying maelstrom that is poorly understood and nearly forgotten in the world today. Nelson’s account follows the members of Company D, 28th Infantry Regiment, United States First Division, from enlistment to combat to the effort to recover their remains, focusing on three major battles at Cantigny, Soissons, and Meuse-Argonne.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Not since Flags of Our Fathers—no, make that, Not since Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory—no, make that, Not ever—has an American nonfiction writer reached into history and produced a testament of young men in terrible battle with the stateliness, the mastery of cadence, the truthfulness and the muted heartbreak of James Carl Nelson in The Remains of Company D. I wish I’d had the honor of working on this book with him. But then, he didn’t need me.”

    Ron Powers, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Flags of Our Fathers and author of Mark Twain: A Life

  • “A beautifully crafted anthem to doomed American youth, James Carl Nelson’s The Remains of Company D is a must-read for World War I enthusiasts and those looking for a damn good war book.”

    Alex Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Longest Winter

  • “James Carl Nelson’s book is a great contribution to AEF history. He has done an incredible amount of research in order to convey the experience of one group of doughboys…and to tell their story through their own words…He reminds us that these long-forgotten battles of ninety years ago were as hard fought as any before or since, and that our country was well served by the young men who fought them. Get this book. It puts a very human face on the experience of Americans on the Western Front.”

    Dr. Paul Herbert, executive director of the Cantigny First Division Foundation 

  • “War is always hell, but the unprecedented carnage on World War I’s Western Front was the stuff of nightmares. The American boys of Company D were on the front lines, and James Carl Nelson has combined previously unpublished first-person accounts, prodigious research, and vivid, you-are-there prose into one of the great books on the subject. This is a Band of Brothers for World War I.”

    James Donovan, author of A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn—the Last Great Battle of the American West

  • “Not since Henry Berry’s Make the Kaiser Dance has there been an intimate history like this one to illustrate the doughboys’ contributions in World War I. The story of Company D, 28th Infantry Regiment, First Division, is one not soon to be forgotten…The author’s meticulous and persistent research in tracking down the descendants of the combatants to uncover their letters and diaries makes his work the standard for research into the story of the American Expeditionary Force. Essential for all students of modern war.”

    Library Journal

  • “Nelson’s choice of the word ‘remains’ in the title is indicative of his larger theme—a search for the mark of the Great War on the American consciousness…As he follows the men of Company D, the author maintains a quick pace and provides evocative imagery…[Nelson] does an excellent job honoring the specific American experience in WWI—from immigrant diasporas to the shattered illusions of a quick campaign—and the lives of an extraordinary group of men. A personal, moving journey that will be a welcome addition to any military-history shelf.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice for History in 2009

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy Blake | 7/15/2013

    " Very moving, gut wrenching and valuable realism of soldiers in The Great War. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 John | 4/18/2013

    " History written by a journalist. Sometimes that can bring flare to an otherwise boring story, but not in this case. I should've known better when I saw a bookjacket blurb by the guy who wrote Flags of Our Fathers... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shawn | 11/5/2012

    " Okay nonfiction book. Very dry and so moving, but good information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Quinn Wright | 10/1/2011

    " kind of hard to hold onto the narative the whole way through, but exactly the kind of insight into different individuals and their experiance of this rediculous war. realy captures how awefull this war was "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacqueline Elsner | 10/1/2010

    " Liked this book a lot. I listened to it on audiobook, which added to the momentum and emotional impact. I take my hat off to the author.for his research, as an act of love to his WWI veteran grandfather. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricrk patrick | 8/22/2010

    " gives a good feel what it was like as a dough-boy in the trenches. The hunger, thirst, gas and machine guns. With the all so casual loss of life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Will Albers | 7/12/2010

    " wish you could give half stars as I'd rate this a 3.5. difficult to find good writing on WW1 and this is an interesting account of a small group of soldiers in what was truly a horrifying war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy | 5/29/2010

    " Very moving, gut wrenching and valuable realism of soldiers in The Great War. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 5/6/2010

    " Incredibly moving book of The First World War. I love history but often find history books too academic/dry. This book tells the story of what happened to real soldiers during the war.

    I can't recommend it too highly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shawn | 4/25/2010

    " Okay nonfiction book. Very dry and so moving, but good information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricrk | 4/8/2010

    " gives a good feel what it was like as a dough-boy in the trenches. The hunger, thirst, gas and machine guns. With the all so casual loss of life. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 John | 11/29/2009

    " History written by a journalist. Sometimes that can bring flare to an otherwise boring story, but not in this case. I should've known better when I saw a bookjacket blurb by the guy who wrote Flags of Our Fathers... "

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About the Author

James Carl Nelson is a journalist who has worked as a staff writer for the Miami Herald. He is a member of the Western Front Association, which is devoted to the study of the Great War. He lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

About the Narrator

Ray Porter has garnered fourteen Earphones Awards, two Audie nominations, and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. He is a fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.