The Soldiers' Tale: Bearing Witness to a Modern War (Google eBook)

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Penguin, Apr 1, 1998 - History - 336 pages
2 Reviews
The Soldiers? Tale is the story of modern wars as told by the men who did the actual fighting. Hynes examines the journals, memoirs, and letters of men who fought in the two World Wars and in Vietnam, and also the wars fought against the weak and helpless in concentration camps, prisoner-of-war camps, and bombed cities. Interweaving his own reflections on war with brilliantly chosen passages from soldiers? accounts, he offers vivid answers to the question we all ask of men who have fought: What was it like? In these powerful pages the experiences of modern war, which seem unimaginable to those who weren?t there, become comprehensible and real. The wide range of writers examined includes both famous literary memoirists like Robert Graves, Tim O?Brien, and Elie Wiesel, and unknown soldiers who wrote only their war stories. Using these testimonies, Hynes considers each war in terms of its special circumstances and its effects on men who fought. His understanding of the psychology of warfare--and of each war?s role in history--gives this study its intellectual authority; the voices of the men who were there, and wrote about what they saw and felt, give it its powerful dramatic impact.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lamour - LibraryThing

My grandchildren frequently ask me why I read military history, especially memoirs written by servicemen and women. My explanation has been that because of when & where I was born, I never had to go ... Read full review

The soldiers' tale: bearing witness to modern war

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Former U.S. Marine aviator Hynes (A War Imagined, Macmillan, 1992) has writen a fascinating book on the evolution of the war narrative. Documenting his study from the combat journals, memoirs, and ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
Copyright Acknowledgments
The Actual Killing
CHAPTER ONEThe Man Who Was There
Civilian Soldiers
The War Elsewhere
CHAPTER FOUREverybodys War
CHAPTER FIVEWhat Happened in Nam
CHAPTER SIXAgents and Sufferers
An Epilogue on Epilogues
Notes on Sources
A Selected List
Index
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Samuel Hynes is Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature Emeritus at Princeton University and the author of several major works of literary criticism, including The Auden Generation, Edwardian Occasions, and The Edwardian Turn of Mind. Hynes's wartime experiences as a Marine Corps pilot were the basis for his highly praised memoir, Flights of Passage. The Soldiers' Tale, his book about soldiers' narratives of the two world wars and Vietnam, won a Robert F. Kennedy Award. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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