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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Frank Kermode, in The New York Times Book Reviewhailed 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.

Now, in WartimeFussell turns to the Second World War, the conflict he himself fought in, to weave a narrative that is both more intensely fusesll and more wide-ranging.

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.

Wartime – Paperback – Paul Fussell – Oxford University Press

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 “precision bombing,” 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.


Of course, no Fsusell book would be complete without some serious discussion of the literature of the waartime. 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, and how the “high-mindedness” of the era and the almost pathological need to “accentuate the positive” led to the downfall of the acerbic H.

Mencken and the ascent of E. 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.

Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War by Paul Fussell

In this stunning volume, he offers such an understanding. Paul Fussell is Donald T. Regan Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. 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 is unforgettable.


He gives us much to ponder in this volume, and Compliments the great War and Modern Memory. Wilson, Southern California College.

Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War.

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Academic Skip to main content. Choose your country or region Close. Ebook This title is available as an ebook.


To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. Wartime Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War Paul Fussell Fussell examines the immediate impact of the war on common soldiers and civilians.

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