Saturday, March 1, 2008


Paul Fussell is probably best known for his THE GREAT WAR AND MODERN MEMORY, and excellent book, by the way.
THE BOYS' CRUSADE (2003) is not a large book (184 small pages) but it is excellent. I have often gotten the feeling, having
read a lot of military history, that the stories that are most
instructive are the ones least likely to be told. Even the literary
"anti-war" canon leaves a great deal to be desired. THE BOYS'
CRUSADE talks about the American infantry in Europe, post D-day. Fussell gives a sense of the utter chaos and confusion of war, what happens when soldiers are overwhelmed or badly prepared. Yes, it is a cliche to say that war is not glorious and that it is hell. Not a few writers say this and inadvertantly manage to make war look wonderful after all. But not Fussell.

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