Carry On Pvt Dahlgren
Author: Conrad Larson
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (2009)
Binding: Paperback, 206 pages
The hundredth anniversary of the First World War is nearing. With every turn of the year, the tales from this remarkable moment in history is also unfortunately fading. With the aim of preserving this noteworthy event, author Conrad Larson pays tribute to the veterans of the war with a gripping account of one man's war adventure, Carry On Private Dahlgren: World War I Runner.
The war that was supposed to stop all wars was cruel and brutal to all civilians and even soldiers.The sacrifices made by the men who stepped up to represent and protect their motherland should be remembered and be given the honor that they deserve. Reflecting the greatest on American character and courage, Carry On Private Dahlgren: World War I Runner presents the nostalgic, personal journals of Pvt. Oscar Dahlgren of World War I. The journals, as found by the author's family, were handwritten with notes written in margins at a later date by Dahlgren. It fascinatingly documents names of peers, superiors, dignitaries, and others. In detail, it chronicles Dahlgren's exploits during the upsetting era, including names of places, some which have different names today. It is an untainted piece of history for unless changes were made for clarity, the style of writing, spelling and grammar were left the way Pvt. Oscar Dahlgren wrote it.
Carry On Private Dahlgren: World War I Runner allows you to relive history and be awed by the fascinating account of one man's life filled courage, hope, brotherhood, and patriotism.
A wonderful book, but impossible to review in the classic manner. It is essentially a diary--the thoughts, observations, joy, and fears of a young man from a small Minnesota town drafted into the U.S. Army and sent off to France to fight the Huns. It is a window into history. A boots-on-the ground view of the horrors and horrific fighting conditions endured during the "Great War"; as seen through the eyes of an Army private.
Today we take instant communication for granted. Squads have headsets that allow them to talk to each other; GPS devices to identify your location and tell you where your objective is; and C-Rations, K-Rations, and MREs. These items, and many more that we take for granted did not exist in 1917-18. Back then instant communication was a private wearing a red band, who carried orders and reports up and down the chain of command. Many times these were verbal reports and orders. It was up to the runner to find the right person or position in an ever changing battle field.
CARRY ON Private Dahlgren takes the reader on a one year WWI tour in the person of a young private who became a runner. His impressions of the war, exploding shells, water logged trenches, friends he made, friends who died, NCOs and officers; and at the end, the horrors of poison gas (which I identify as Mustard Agent). There is no protagonist nor antagonist in the literary sense, just men, Germans, Austrians, English, Australian, Canadian, and American doing their duty as they saw it. Some were good, some were brave, a few were bad, but most were just trying to stay alive. Private Oscar Dahlgren is a typical American: High school educated, intelligent, observant, and dedicated. A man who does his duty and lives by his values. The kind of man who made America a great nation.
CARRY ON Private Dahlgren is history, American history, world history. Conrad Larson did his best to reproduce the journals as accurately as possible. The words are Private Dahlgren's, reproduced much as he wrote them, spelling and grammatical errors, the works. Mr. Larson has updated names and locations noted by Private Dahlgren to current names and locations.
CARRY ON Private Dahlgren belongs in public and school libraries, and the library of history buffs.
Reviewed by: Lee Boyland (2009)