Review of the Week: “Stubby”

StubbyBausum, Ann. Stubby: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog. Non-fiction.  National Geographic, 2014. 72p. $17.99. 978-1-4263-1486-5.

Initially, he hung around the U.S. Army training camp scrounging for food, but Stubby, a dog of “obscure origins,” wound up in WW I trenches in France with J. Robert Conroy, the soldier who adopted him. Honored for his heroic services, Stubby enjoyed celebrity status after the war, his remains ending up in the Smithsonian. Carefully sorting facts from speculation and likelihood, Bausum provides an admiring yet clear-eyed account, avoiding sentimentality and exaggeration. Along with Stubby’s story, the account adds information and insight into WW I, briefly explaining the causes and contrasting old-fashioned military
strategies with new war technologies. The result is an awe-inspiring true dog story with well-integrated chunks of history. Illustrated with well-captioned, well-reproduced photographs and period posters, the book is handsomely designed and impeccably researched. Back matter includes a timeline, research notes, bibliography, additional resources, citations, and index.
Linda Perkins, Independent

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