In honor of Veteran’s Day, Fordham Press is spotlighting our books on war and the soldiers who have fought them all this week.
Jack Toffey’s War is both the gripping story of Lt. Col. Jack Toffey and that of his son, John J. Toffey IV, as he struggles to piece together his father’s brave legacy. The elder Toffey’s National Guard unit was mobilized when his son was nine, and he went away to fight overseas in 1942, leading campaigns in Morocco, Tunisia, and Italy. He was tragically killed in Rome, on June 3, 1944, leaving behind only his letters to his wife, son, and daughter, and his legacy of courage.
Lt. Col. Toffey’s story has been told before, in Rick Atkinson’s intense book, The Day of Battle. However, Jack Toffey’s War is more than a war story–it’s a memoir that illuminates what it was like to be left behind in war time Ohio, in a small family trying to make the most of hard times and hope for the future. Using his father’s letters, Toffey is able to piece together what happened to his father in his absence, and adds his own perspective as a grown man, fifty years later, struggling to make sense of the legacy of war.
To all of our veterans, past and present, we remember you today.