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Wartime: understanding and behavior in the Second World War, 1939-1945

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Oxford University Press,
Pub. Date:
1989.
Language:
English
Description
Winner of both the National Book Award for Arts and Letters and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory was one of the most original and gripping volumes ever written about the First World War. Frank Kermode, in The New York TimesBook Review, hailed it as "an important contribution to our understanding of how we came to make World War I part of our minds," and Lionel Trilling called it simply "one of the most deeply moving books I have read in a long time." In its panaramic scope and poetic intensity, it illuminated a warthat changed a generation and revolutionized the way we see the world. Now, in Wartime, Fussell turns to the Second World War, the conflict he himself fought in, to weave a narrative that is both more intensely personal and more wide-ranging. Whereas his former book focused primarily on literary figures, on the image of the Great War in literature, here Fussellexamines the immediate impact of the war on common soldiers and civilians. He describes the psychological and emotional atmosphere of World War II. He analyzes the euphemisms people needed to deal with unacceptable reality (the early belief, for instance, that the war could be won by "precisionbombing," that is, by long distance); he describes the abnormally intense frustration of desire and some of the means by which desire was satisfied; and, most important, he emphasizes the damage the war did to intellect, discrimination, honesty, individuality, complexity, ambiguity and wit. Ofcourse, no Fussell book would be complete without some serious discussion of the literature of the time. He examines, for instance, how the great privations of wartime (when oranges would be raffled off as valued prizes) resulted in roccoco prose styles that dwelt longingly on lavish dinners, andhow the "high-mindedness" of the era and the almost pathological need to "accentuate the positive" led to the downfall of the acerbic H.L. Mencken and the ascent of E.B. White. He also offers astute commentary on Edmund Wilson's argument with Archibald MacLeish, Cyril Connolly's Horizon magazine,the war poetry of Randall Jarrell and Louis Simpson, and many other aspects of the wartime literary world. Fussell conveys the essence of that wartime as no other writer before him. For the past fifty years, the Allied War has been sanitized and romanticized almost beyond recognition by "the sentimental, the loony patriotic, the ignorant, and the bloodthirsty." Americans, he says, have neverunderstood what the Second World War was really like. In this stunning volume, he offers such an understanding.
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ISBN:
9780195037975
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID ad098c15-fde2-4130-7b68-e44484ee61f1
Grouping Title wartime understanding and behavior in the second world war 1939 1945
Grouping Author fussell paul
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-08-11 04:21:02AM
Last Indexed 2018-08-19 04:29:23AM

Solr Details

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author Fussell, Paul, 1924-2012.
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primary_isbn 9780195037975
publishDate 1989
record_details ils:.b1081310x|Book|Books||English|Oxford University Press,|1989.|330 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
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subject_facet World War, 1939-1945 -- Great Britain -- Psychological aspects, World War, 1939-1945 -- Propaganda, World War, 1939-1945 -- Psychological aspects
title_display Wartime : understanding and behavior in the Second World War, 1939-1945
title_full Wartime : understanding and behavior in the Second World War, 1939-1945 / Paul Fussell
title_short Wartime :
title_sub understanding and behavior in the Second World War, 1939-1945
topic_facet Propaganda, Psychological aspects, World War, 1939-1945