The Great War and Modern Memory

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Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 2009 - History - 452 pages

Paul Fussell’s award-winning landmark study of World War I, originally published in 1975, remains as original and gripping today as ever—but now, for the first time, his literary and illuminating account comes in a beautifully illustrated edition.

World War I changed a generation, ushered in the modern era, and revolutionized how we see the world. By drawing from a variety of primary sources—including personal correspondence, newspapers, and literary works—Fussell brings the period alive. Not only does he give us a more profound understanding of what the Great War meant to the people who lived through it, he also analyzes our modern perception of its impact.

The wide selection of rare and fascinating images (approximately 160 of them) includes photographs, illustrations, and maps from period books, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, and other publications. Not only do they heighten the impact of Fussell’s remarkable critical interpretation, they help us fully grasp the true scope of this aptly named and catastrophic war.


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About the author (2009)

Paul Fussell Jr. was born in Pasadena, California on March 22, 1924. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 while attending Pomona College. During his tour of duty, he won the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He returned to college in 1945. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Pomona College in 1947 and a master's degree and a doctorate in English from Harvard University. He taught English at Connecticut College for Women, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania. During this time he wrote several books on literary topics including The Rhetorical World of Augustan Humanism: Ethics and Imagery from Swift to Burke, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, and Samuel Johnson and the Life of Writing. In 1975, he published The Great War and Modern Memory, which was a study of World War I and how its horrors fostered a disillusioned modernist sensibility. This book won both the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and the National Book Award for Arts and Letters. His other works include Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, BAD: Or, the Dumbing of America, and Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic. He died of natural causes on May 23, 2012 at the age of 88.

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