Wartime

Wartime : Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War

4.15 (540 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The Second World War has been romanticized almost beyond recognition by 'the sentimental, the loony patriotic, the ignorant, and the bloodthirsty.' In this readable and penetrating study, Paul Fussell goes behind the familiar diplomacy and heroics of history to examine the blunders, petty tyrannies, inconveniences, and deprivations that are many British and American people's memory of the War. There are lively sections on the role of drinking, tobacco, and sex in the war and on the home front; on propaganda; about writers and magazines who recorded the war or who attempted to keep aloft literary standards in a difficult time; on wartime slang and graphic recollections of the nightmare of combat. Written with a keen intelligence and deep emotion, Wartime is a worthy companion to Fussell's The Great War And Modern Memory , which won an American National Book Award and the National Critics Circle prize.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 350 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 657.71g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • halftones throughout
  • 0195037979
  • 9780195037975
  • 1,455,175

Review quote

'Wartime is a brave attempt to take the Second World War by the scruff of the neck and shake out a few of its secrets. Paul Fussell is refreshingly unafraid of voicing his opinions.' Living Marxism 'Paul Fussell's Wartime deserves to become a classic' Sunday Times 'Truth was a major casualty; the realities of the war were sanitised to protect the decent innocent. Here Fussell gives us his scorching correction.' Observer 'Wartime is a brave attempt to take the Second World War by the scruff of the neck and shake out a few of its secrets. Paul Fussell is refreshingly unafraid of voicing his opinions. As at the end of every war, the soldiers are grimly certain that 'the real war will never get into the books'. Wartime is an honourable attempt to see that it does.' Toby Banks, Living Marxism 'This is a book that ought to become a bible for the peace movement. I have never seen such a concentrated and stylish debunking of war. Fussell has produced a masterpiece.' Paul Pickering, Sanity 'If only there were more literary critics like Paul Fussell. Wartime, finally, is a book that is movingly expressive of the extremes of sadness and humor that mark the period. It is also the work of great scholarship. Fussell's creative engagement with his material, his rigor and his adventurous but clear style make him a model for contemporary cultural commentators.' Robin Gerster, The Herald, Melbourne 'This is a book that ought to become a bible for the peace movement.' Paul Pickering, Sanity 'constantly absorbing' Sunday Times 'Professor Fussell has assembled a great deal of arresting material ... though cruder and less tidy than the argument of his Great War book, may in fact come closer to the truth' John Keegan, Sunday Telegraph 'surgically removes yet more illusions about our supposedly 'clean' World War II' Richard Eyre, Observer 'constructs a memorable portrait of the last war' The Independent 'It is the work of a notably honest man ... his portrait of a conflict which was unwanted, total and interminable is superb' Philip Oakes, New Statesman & Society 'Funny, upsetting, at times brilliantly illuminating' Kirkus Reviews 'brilliant, engaging cultural history' Publishers Weekly 'Wartime is an important and indispensible book' Library Journal 'Fussell is a wonderful writer - at once elegant and earthy. He gives us much to ponder in this volume, and, despite the grimness of the subject, considerable pleasure.' Nina King, Washington Post 'His technique is simple but effective; he looks at the war "from the bottom up".' Tim Blanning, Independent 'A memorable portrait of the last war, constructed from personal anecdotes.' Tim Blanning, Independent 'as shocking an account of disaster and human error as one could find anywhere - and the pity of it is that it is all true' Geoffrey Moore, Financial Times 'unlike most military histories and documentaries, it does not glorify generals and, unlike flag-waving propaganda works about war, it leaves an anti-war aftertaste' Herbert Mitgang, International Herald Tribune 'Professor Fussell has written a riveting book ... I would say that, to all who lived through that war, and to those generations who wonder what all the fuss was about, this one is close to obligatory reading.' Anthony Burgess, Observer 'Fussell's book is wide-ranging in its concerns and thoroughly researched. There is much that is vivid and to the point' Alan Ross, Sunday Correspondent 'characteristically wide-ranging ... Fussell's point is that war is barbaric, and no amount of high ideals and fustian rhetoric can disguise that central fact ... a lively, shocking and grimly funny book.' The Listener 'memorable and distinctive ... Wartimeis no friendly journey down memory lane. It forces you to think, and at the end forces you to feel.' Asa Briggs, Sunday Times 'Fussell's book is wide-ranging in its concerns and thoroughly researched.' Sunday Correspondent 'just as clever, witty, painful, disturbing ... as the first' John Grigg, The Times 'memorable portrait of the last war' Independent `Professor Fussell has written a riveting book. Many have recently appeared to cash in on the half-century of Chamberlain's reluctant declaration, but I would say that, to all who lived through that war, and to those generations who wonder what the fuss was about, this one is close to obligatory reading.' Anthony Burgess, Observer `Paul Fussell has written the best book I know of about World War I. Now he has written the best book I know of about the Second World War. No novel I've read surpasses its depiction of the awful human cost to all sides of modern warfare. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it's unforgettable.' Joseph Hellershow more

About Paul Fussell

Paul Fussell is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Great War and Modern Memory (OUP 1975); Abroad (OUP 1982)show more

Rating details

540 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 41% (224)
4 37% (200)
3 17% (94)
2 3% (18)
1 1% (4)
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