William Gardner Smith: Last of the Conquerors

(1402 words)

William Gardner Smith’s debut novel Last of the Conquerors was published by Farrar, Straus and Company in 1948. Smith began writing the novel in 1947, on the return trip from his duty with the US occupation forces in Germany. There, he had served for eight months as a clerk-typist with the 661st Truck Company in Berlin. Last of the Conquerors is a courageous book that does not shy away from depicting the situation in the segregated U.S. army as Smith himself experienced it. In the novel, he skilfully combines the love story between a black American soldier and a white German woman with a celebration of human sameness and a scathing critique of racism in the US army and America as a whole. He contrasts the l…

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Weik von Mossner, Alexa. "Last of the Conquerors". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 August 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=26238, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. World War 2 Literature