- Publisher: Sterling, Hardcover(2009) (2009)
- ASIN: B008CMAD64
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
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Great War & Modern Memory (09) by Fussell, Paul [Hardcover (2009)] Hardcover – 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
However, having book in hand, I was immediately drawn into Fussell's examination and analysis of literature, essays, poetry, letters home, theater and culture on the front and in England during WWI in order to paint a picture of the British soldiers' experience during WWI. It is a fascinating book on many levels and examines war, in this instance The Great War, from a completely different aspect than I have ever seen before. Fussell illuminates much more clearly what happened to the boys/men in the trenches than anything I have ever read before. For instance, has any other book captured so vividly the oppressiveness of being in a trench for days when all you see is a sliver of sky and the horrific irony of morning and evening stand-to's? I don't think I have read a book that made me sympathize and empathize with the WWI soldier more than this book. It is a deeply moving and touching book and really drives home the futility of war.Read more ›
It is hard to overpraise this book. I read the paperback in the late 1980s and reread it again last week. It is first and foremost a World War I British intellectual (literary) history but much, much more. Fussell is at home with the British literary heritage, which he shares with the poets and writers of the early 20th century. He covers in detail the memoirs of Siegfried Sassoon, Edmund Blunden, Robert Graves (of I, Claudius fame) and the poetry of Wilfred Owen, along with many others.
We return to 1914, when there was no radio, no TV, no movies to speak of, and when the populace had implicit faith in their press, their King and "progress." The central irony of this book was that the population rushed to support the war in order to support these 19th century ideals, ideals which would be shattered in the war that gave birth to the twentieth century. Fussell documents how World War I gave us the standardized form, the wristwatch, daylight savings time, civilian censorship and bureaucratic euphemism--and for the first time, despair that technology was driving civilization into perpetual war.
So The Great War and Modern Memory is not just a literary anthology; it has elements of political and social history and even (in the chapter titled "Soldier Boys" and for lack of a better term) what would come to be called Gay Studies. It is no accident that Fussell was a soldier himself (in World War II) and his sympathies lie with the common "grunt"; he does not mince words.Read more ›
The subject of the connotations of words recalls one of my favorite books of all time, Paul Fussell's "The Great War and Modrn Memory." The thesis of this masterwork suggests that the modern world began on July 1, 1916, on a trench-riddled field near the River Somme, where Sir Douglas Haig, commander of British forces, sent 110,000 men against a German force one-seventh that size in "the largest engagement fought since the beginnings of civilization" (as Fussell puts it). On this one day, 60,000 men were killed or wounded, "the record so far." Fussell argues that the world changed enormously after the Somme affair (the surviving soldiers reserved earthier epithets for the campaign).
Fussell's use of the word "record," with its echoes of sporting statistics, is indicative of the innocence with which British soldiers entered into warfare.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
According to Paul Fussell the Great War was one gigantic homoerotic experience for Britains. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Roger Kennedy
I'm only giving it four stars because I can't really tell you yet...haven't started reading it but it was recommended to me. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Elizabeth Long
I read this a while ago so don't recall many of the details. I liked it reading it after a friend leant it to me which was why I bought it, considering it a real keeper.Published 10 months ago by Shelley T.
The book arrived in excellent condition. I bought it for a class and have not finished reading it yet. Read morePublished 10 months ago by S. W. K.
Wonderful book. Tiny print. Very thin pages. Be well rested when diving in because this is worth your full attention but it will require your best eyesight, espy if you're over... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Writer and Editor
In my opinion, this is the best book written about the First World War. It is scholary, and memorably well written. Read morePublished 14 months ago by john p. wickman
Good study of the war's affect on literature, language, and psyche of participants. Sprinkled with some front line/trench action. Can be rather droll and boring.Published 18 months ago by robert garcia
Wasn't what I expected, but a good book that helps to understand the impact of this war on the generation that fought it...Published 19 months ago by Gary Householder