Uncover the larger-than-life story of World War I's "Lost Battalion" and the men who survived the ordeal, triumphed in battle, and fought the demons that lingered.
In the first week of October, 1918, six hundred men attacked into Europe's forbidding Argonne Forest. Against all odds, they surged through enemy lines—alone. They were soon surrounded and besieged. As they ran out of ammunition, water, and food, the doughboys withstood constant bombardment and relentless enemy assaults. Seven days later, only 194 soldiers from the original unit walked out of the forest. The stand of the US Army's "Lost Battalion" remains an unprecedented display of heroism under fire.
Never in Finer Company tells the stories of four men whose lives were forever changed by the ordeal: Major Charles Whittlesey, a lawyer dedicated to serving his men at any cost; Captain George McMurtry, a New York stockbroker who becomes a tower of strength under fire; Corporal Alvin York, a country farmer whose famous exploits help rescue his beleaguered comrades; and Damon Runyon, an intrepid newspaper man who interviews the survivors and weaves their experiences into the American epic. Emerging from the patriotic frenzy that sent young men "over there," each of these four men trod a unique path to the October days that engulfed them—and continued to haunt them as they struggled to find peace.
Uplifting and compelling, Never in Finer Company is a deeply moving and dramatic story on an epic scale.
Edward G. Lengel is a military historian, battlefield tour guide, and travel enthusiast who has published award-winning books on World War I and the Revolutionary War, including To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918, and Thunder and Flames: Americans in the Crucible of Combat, 1917-1918. He has contributed articles for Military History, Military History Quarterly, American Heritage, and American History, and appears frequently on television and radio, including the History Channel, NPR, and other networks.