FUSSELL WARTIME PDF

With his book Fussell attempts to give readers some description of "the psychological and emotional culture of Americans and Britons" in World War II. This truth he speaks of has a great deal to do with the horrors that accompanied combat. He asserts that war was often portrayed at home much differently then it actually was. War not a pretty picture.

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Oxford University Press. Walt Whitman, who knew of the horrible wounds suffered by Union casualties from personal observation during the Civil War, wrote that ''the real war will never get in the books. The real war is perforce an antiwar story, which is why total exposure even by those who have experienced war at first hand remains a valuable if elusive goal. A reader of Paul Fussell's ''Wartime'' senses that the book is nearly always on target because, unlike most military histories and documentaries, it does not glorify generals and, unlike flag-waving propaganda works about war, it leaves an antiwar aftertaste.

These are acid tests of battlefield reality. In ''Wartime,'' Mr. This is an unromantic view of wartime behavior, from the front lines to the home front. The tone is sardonic, with touches of bawdy humor between patches of bitterness.

The difference between Mr. Fussell's two wartime studies is the difference between the two wars. From a literary viewpoint, World War I could be confined to a common experience: trench warfare in France. In an era of machine guns, some British generals still dreamed of cavalry charges.

As high German field officers observed, the British Tommies fought like lions but were led by donkeys. Fussell could count on literary voices. For World War II, he writes from personal knowledge, and many of his sentiments carry a ring of truth. As a year-old American lieutenant, he led an infantry platoon in France and was wounded twice. After teaching at Rutgers for many years, he is now a professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

In this highly opinionated book, Mr. Fussell writes that his goal is to expose ''the psychological and emotional culture of Americans and Britons during the Second World War.

It is about the rationalizations and euphemisms people needed to deal with an unacceptable actuality from to For the past 50 years the Allied war has been sanitized and romanticized beyond recognition by the sentimental, the loony patriotic, the ignorant and the bloodthirsty.

I have tried to balance the scales. It is impossible for any single participant to capture the great variety of human experience in the United States and in all the foreign theaters, because World War II was a global war. Fussell leaves little room for the personal growth experienced by many young men and women placed in positions of responsibility.

He does not take into account that at least for some soldiers who were far from narrow-minded hometowns, tolerance and ambition developed during the maelstrom of war. Surprisingly, he overlooks what the war meant to untold numbers of military personnel and civilians in Britain and the United States who helped to liberate people and overthrow the murderous dictatorships. Yet when it comes to the infantrymen who did the real fighting, ''Wartime'' is even more intimate and revealing than ''The Great War and Modern Memory.

Fussell seems to have stored up memories for years, and he conveys them to the reader without fear of reprisal and with a sense of joy. He ridicules the claims by the military and by aircraft manufacturers that ''precision bombing will win the war. He reveals incidents that were not allowed to be published in wartime - for example, that nervous Navy gunners shot down 23 planes carrying paratroopers of the 82d Airborne Division during the invasion of Sicily. The most down-to-earth chapter should amuse any reader, of present or World War II vintage, who has forgotten or never knew the petty harassments of military life, including what Mr.

Fussell calls ''sadism thinly disguised as necessary discipline. In another chapter, he deplores the high-ranking officers who wasted lives for their own aggrandisement.

The book is replete with literary examples of what was written and read during World War II. The British people, bombed by the German Luftwaffe during the Blitz, could not be deceived by high-minded language alone.

But in unbombed America, he writes, the real war was ''beyond the power of any literary or philosophic analysis to suggest. Fussell gives it more than a noble try. View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions.

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Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War.

In this engaging, elegant, and enlightening study of WW II. By turns amusing and shocking, Fussell's unforgivingly cleareyed vision takes in both official and uncensored ephemera—along with published accounts—to overturn the upbeat view of the war promulgated by both the government's publicity machine and the general media. Beginning with a discussion of our total unpreparedness and general incompetence—"precision" bombing often fell on our own troops; the RAF were in danger from their own frightened ground support—Fussell turns to the popular rumors, slang, stories, and humor of the troops. A chapter on "chickenshit" reveals loathsome small-mindedness endemic in the system; the chapter title "Drinking Far Too Much, Copulating Too Little" nicely sums up the G. 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. Finishing with a survey of wartime literature, including Cyril Connolly's Horizon magazine and the paperback publishing programs that flowered with the war, he concludes that even now "America has not yet understood what the Second World War was like.

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Wartime by Paul Fussell

Oxford University Press. Walt Whitman, who knew of the horrible wounds suffered by Union casualties from personal observation during the Civil War, wrote that ''the real war will never get in the books. The real war is perforce an antiwar story, which is why total exposure even by those who have experienced war at first hand remains a valuable if elusive goal. A reader of Paul Fussell's ''Wartime'' senses that the book is nearly always on target because, unlike most military histories and documentaries, it does not glorify generals and, unlike flag-waving propaganda works about war, it leaves an antiwar aftertaste.

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Books of The Times; War, Described as the Hell That It Really Is

When a German Heinkel bomber crashes at Clacton-on-Sea, the death of combatants is still novel. The crew of four are carried to the local cemetery with full military honours supplied by the RAF. Women sob and the coffins are laden with floral tributes of spring lilies and irises. It is a degree of ceremony that did not last, and could not last. The victim was an ally, a Pole.

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Paul Fussell

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