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Wars dominated life in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century and have haunted the second as the terrible legacy of guilt and grief is worked through. This incredibly powerful anthology brings together writings which emphasise that despite the camaraderie and heroism, war is really about killing and being killed. It concentrates on why it is men fight wars and how something we call 'humanity' survives them.
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Angus Calder is a brave man. In Wars, his commendably ambitious volume of war writings, he has imagined an ideal reader who will read the work from cover to cover rather than dip into it, which is the usual fate of anthologies. This conceit of "through-composing" reaps handsome dividends for those willing to give themselves up to his direction. His previous book, The People's War, was as much about the banalities thrown up by war as the fighting, but here he deliberately focuses on what John Ellis calls "the sharp end of war". It is a book about killing and being killed. In its turn, it takes no prisoners.
The scope of the volume is writings about war in the European theatre during the first half of the 20th century. It has become a century haunted by those lost on the battlefield. The variety of genre and mode represented here is vast: from the instantly recognisable poetry of Wilfred Owen to excerpts of previously unknown memoirs, to song lyrics by Jacques Brel. The selection is sweeping, admirably cosmopolitan and non-partisan. It divides into nine sections: Attitudes at the Turn of the Century, Why Men Fight, The Great War, Revolution and Civil War, Death Camps, World War II, The Eastern Front, Grief and Guilt, and Reckonings. Entries range in length from a few lines of verse to many pages of prose, and the weighting of the contributions is finely and seriously judged by Calder, who studiously avoids counting out a trudging beat. This is subjectivity as art. At the heart, and mid-point, of the deliberately unindexed collection lies an extract from Primo Levi's If This Is A Man that, given space to breathe, expresses a humanity which is every bit yin to war's yang. Calder's passionate determination to make people understand, to "restore immediate meaning to bleeding", brilliantly illustrates the dignity of human expression that refuses to be silenced, however horrific the experience. A brave idea, which deserves brave reading. --David VincentSynopsis:
This anthology brings together writings which emphasise that despite the camaraderie and heroism, war is really about killing and being killed. It concentrates on why it is men fight wars and how something we call humanity survives them. Contributors include Primo Levi, Anna Akhmatova, Robert Graves, Seamus Heaney, Bertolt Brecht and others.
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Book Description . Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR001214011
Book Description . Paperback. Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Seller Inventory # GOR004613204
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0141180803I4N00
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0141180803I3N00
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1999. Condition: Good. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP76511374
Book Description Penguin Books, 1999. Condition: Good. This is an ex-library book and may have the usual library/used-book markings inside.This book has soft covers. In good all round condition. Seller Inventory # 8170202
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1999. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0141180803-2-4
Book Description Penguin, London, 1999. Condition: NF. Collection of essay, excerpts and poems, fiction and non-fiction. From Joseph Conrad to Danilo Kis. Seller Inventory # 1100410