Wartime: Understanding and Behaviour in the Second World War

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The Second World War has been romanticized almost beyond recognition by 'the sentimental, the loony patriotic, the ignorant, and the bloodthirsty.' In this readable and penetrating study, Paul Fussell goes behind the familiar diplomacy and heroics of history to examine the blunders, petty tyrannies, inconveniences, and deprivations that are many British and American people's memory of the War. There are lively sections on the role of drinking, tobacco, and sex in the war and on the home front; on propaganda; about writers and magazines who recorded the war or who attempted to keep aloft literary standards in a difficult time; on wartime slang and graphic recollections of the nightmare of combat. Written with a keen intelligence and deep emotion, Wartime is a worthy companion to Fussell's The Great War And Modern Memory , which won an American National Book Award and the National Critics Circle prize.