Paul Fussell, Wartime: Understanding and Behaviours in the Second World War ; Michael D. Doubler, Closing with the Enemy, How GIs Fought the War in. 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. standing and Behaviour in the Second World War’, Wartime is the sequel to Fussell’s The. Great War and Modern Memory, published in , which set out with.

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John Keegan [1] Joseph Heller called it “the best book I know of about world war one”. Fussell’s discussion of the reality of the war, and the book itself, climaxes as he describes Eugene B. Focusing on World War II, it reveals how men moved themselves forward to certain death, mostly because everyone around them was doing it This book, written with great erudition and style by someone who served in World War II, is the best gift you can give to a literate young man who is infatuated with the glories of war.

This was not entirely the book I expected since, for example, the author spends comparatively little time on matters of rationing on the home front as compared to the impact of the war on literature and the arts — and especially cites the latter in support of his discussion of wartime attitudes on a wide range of issues.

Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War.

Aug 29, Tripp rated it it was amazing. This book strips away some of the romantic glow years of platitude-spouting Remembrance Day-milking fussdll and do-gooders have layered over the brutal truth: In this stunning volume, he offers such an understanding. Its greatest strength, I think, is Fussell’s refusal to submit to all the Greatest Fuswell sentimentality that obscures the reality, which is to say the horror and the stupidity, of war.

He also, in typical English literature lecturer manner, leaves his readers hanging by tossing out unresolvable rhetorical questions, such as ‘what is the meaning of WW2?

Dec 15, Jennifer Provorse rated it it was ok.

Using primary source materials Fuss “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.

There was no grandiose talk of freeing the world from Fascism. This is because the soldiers’ experiences were “systematically wartimf, Norman Rockwellized, and Disneyfied.


Jul 21, David rated it it was amazing. Mencken and the ascent of E. The book is a great resource on the ephemeral culture of the war period and I would recommend it as one of the must-reads for anyone interested in better knowing what wartime was like for those who lived through it.

Life in wartime was mostly numbingly boring but was punctuated by periods of sheer terror in which even seasoned veterans soiled their pants. Fussell, an English professor at Penn, spends the majority of the book analyzing the cultural developments of the war — the writing, the criticism or lack thereofthe anthologies for soldiers, the idioms developed by the soldiers themselves — and though all of that is interesting, the book’s most lasting impression is undoubtedly Sledge in his foxhole in Okinawa, surrounded by excrement, dead bodies, and maggots.


And conversely, even now, inevery act by the other side, the Taliban is described routinely as dishonourable, using civilian shields, using roadside bombs – be assured, my radio, tv and newspapers tell me, our enemy has no courage, will soon turn and run, their soldiers motivated only by money and having no loyalty, their ideology despicable, their so-called army a joke. War is a dank hell of body fussel, fear, lies, hatred, and manipulation. Paul Fussell is clearly angry with the overt sentimentalism that surrounds our ‘memory’ of the Second World War.

The Americans succeeded not because they had more fussll and resources but because of their brilliant organizational skills, their ability to learn and to improvise.

Whereas his former book focused primarily on literary figures, on the image of the Great War in literature, here Fussell examines the immediate impact of the war on common soldiers and civilians. Okay, This is a workmanlike repository of literature about the horrid experiences of combatants.

Mainly because it strips war down to what it really is – destruction, and analyzes its effect of the world and culture.

Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War

For many it was related to their first job, and the Martin Kitchen Simon Fraser University. But Fussell is at his best as he examines the forced high-mindedness of official wartime rhetoric and the growth of “Accentuate the Positive”-toned publicity as a distinctly essential facet of modern war.

It is the savage pettiness that goes beyond digging trenches by one company to have them filled in by another; it is the vermin passion that minutely relishes the infliction of humiliations on those lower in rank, or on those in some way trapped at the mercy of a clerk vested with power — in short, the heart and soul of everyday life in the military.


Common terms and phrases advertising Allied anthology Anthony Powell arms army battle blunders bomber crews bombing boys British camp chickenshit civilian combat comic command Connolly Connolly’s Corps death depicted deprivation diary drink E.

Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War – Paul Fussell – Google Books

Retrieved from ” http: It’s a refreshing counterweight to some of the cloying fusse,l that other writers engage in. It was not the “best war ever” as people want it remembered as. Lists with This Book. It summarized the plot for pages and pages, making me wonder if he was leaning so heavily on it because he liked it so much, or if he just didn’t have any other relevant examples.

Paul Fussell – Wikipedia

The Germans may have had better arms and armour that the Americans, but they were hopelessly outnumbered and replacements grew increasingly scarce. Oct 26, Martin rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Fussell stated that he relished the inevitable controversy of Class: Also, soldiers responded with “constant verbal subversion and contempt. Both in his public personality and in his private life the prime minister was the antithesis of the drab, and few begrudged him his obvious enjoyment of the good things in life.

Aug 07, Reid rated it liked it. All in all, Paul Fussell keeps it starkly real in Wartimeand it’s an amazing, if surreal, book. Fussell pulls no punches as he deconstructs the experience of World War II as experienced by those who fought it or those who found themselves directly in its path.

Aug 06, Paul Bryant rated it really liked it Shelves: Fussell’s goal in “Wartime” is eloquently stated in its preface: This was especially obnoxious in his extended use of a single memoir a trilogy about one soldiers sex and masturbation habits. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.