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The Soldiers' Tale: Bearing Witness to a…

The Soldiers' Tale: Bearing Witness to a Modern War

by Samuel Hynes

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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 to war and I try to imagine how I would have reacted to some of the situations soldiers find themselves in. Of course I do not know how I would have behaved so I read how others faced the dangers.
In this volume, Mr. Hynes tries to explain how how soldiers have gone to war and how they have reacted to what they faced. He explains that there is always a war going on somewhere but he chose to centre his research on three main conflicts- WW I, WW II and Vietnam. Using excerpts from memoirs, letters and books written by ex-servicemen, he tries to answer the question I have been asked by my grandchildren. He does a remarkable good job. He is also very qualified to write this having been a Marine bomber pilot in the Pacific Theatre and now a professor of literature. ( )
  lamour | May 26, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140261540, Paperback)

Having served as a Marine pilot in World War II and the Korean War, Princeton literature professor Samuel Hynes is closely acquainted with conflict. He collates his experiences with those of dozens of other witnesses--poets such as Wilfred Owen and Ernst Jünger, conscience-stricken warriors such as Ryuji Nagatsuka and Philip Caputo, and resistance fighters such as Lucie Aubrac and Elena Skrjabina. Many of these witnesses are men and women from all sides of many struggles and from whom we've not heard before. Their voices add weight to Hynes's ideas that war is strange and terrible, and is waged largely against the innocent and powerless.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:47 -0400)

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An analysis of the individual experience of modern war drawing on accounts from first and second world wars and Vietnam.

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