Author: Gabriel Chevallier
Publisher: New York Review of Books
An NYRB Classics Original Winner of the Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation 1915: Jean Dartemont heads off to the Great War, an eager conscript. The only thing he fears is missing the action. Soon, however, the vaunted “war to end all wars” seems like a war that will never end: whether mired in the trenches or going over the top, Jean finds himself caught in the midst of an unimaginable, unceasing slaughter. After he is wounded, he returns from the front to discover a world where no one knows or wants to know any of this. Both the public and the authorities go on talking about heroes—and sending more men to their graves. But Jean refuses to keep silent. He will speak the forbidden word. He will tell them about fear. John Berger has called Fear “a book of the utmost urgency and relevance.” A literary masterpiece, it is also an essential and unforgettable reckoning with the terrible war that gave birth to a century of war.
Author: Lucien Mary
Civilization without Sexes
Author: Mary Louise Roberts
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
In the raucous decade following World War I, newly blurred boundaries between male and female created fears among the French that theirs was becoming a civilization without sexes. This new gender confusion became a central metaphor for the War's impact on French culture and led to a marked increase in public debate concerning female identity and woman's proper role. Mary Louise Roberts examines how in these debates French society came to grips with the catastrophic horrors of the Great War. In sources as diverse as parliamentary records, newspaper articles, novels, medical texts, writings on sexology, and vocational literature, Roberts discovers a central question: how to come to terms with rapid economic, social, and cultural change and articulate a new order of social relationships. She examines the role of French trauma concerning the War in legislative efforts to ban propaganda for abortion and contraception, and explains anxieties about the decline of maternity by a crisis in gender relations that linked soldiery, virility, and paternity. Through these debates, Roberts locates the seeds of actual change. She shows how the willingness to entertain, or simply the need to condemn, nontraditional gender roles created an indecisiveness over female identity that ultimately subverted even the most conservative efforts to return to traditional gender roles and irrevocably altered the social organization of gender in postwar France.
There are few moments in history when the division between the sexes seems as "natural" as during wartime: men go off to the "war front," while women stay behind on the "home front." But the very notion of the home front was an invention of the First World War, when, for the first time, "home" and "domestic" became adjectives that modified the military term "front." Such an innovation acknowledged the significant and presumably new contributions of civilians, especially women, to the war effort. Yet, as Susan Grayzel argues, throughout the war, traditional notions of masculinity and femininity survived, primarily through the maintenance of--and indeed reemphasis on--soldiering and mothering as the core of gender and national identities. Drawing on sources that range from popular fiction and war memorials to newspapers and legislative debates, Grayzel analyzes the effects of World War I on ideas about civic participation, national service, morality, sexuality, and identity in wartime Britain and France. Despite the appearance of enormous challenges to gender roles due to the upheavals of war, the forces of stability prevailed, she says, demonstrating the Western European gender system's remarkable resilience.
This volume, in Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare series, examines how France, Belgium and the Netherlands emerged from the military collapse and humiliating Nazi occupation they suffered during the Second World War. Rather than traditional armed conflict, the human consequences of Nazi policies were resistance, genocide and labour migration to Germany. Pieter Lagrou offers a genuinely comparative approach to these issues, based on extensive archival research; he underlines the divergence between ambiguous experiences of occupation and the univocal post-war patriotic narratives which followed. His book reveals striking differences in political cultures as well as close convergence in the creation of a common Western European discourse, and uncovers disturbing aspects of the aftermath of the war, including post-war antisemitism and the marginalisation of resistance veterans. Brilliantly researched and fluently written, this book will be of central interest to all scholars and students of twentieth-century European history.
I'll Be Seeing You
Author: Suzanne Hayes, Loretta Nyhan
"I hope this letter gets to you quickly. We are always waiting, aren't we? Perhaps the greatest gift this war has given us is the anticipation…" It's January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a sensible professor's wife with a love of gardening and a generous, old soul. Glory comes from New England society; Rita lives in Iowa, trying to make ends meet. They have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home. Brought together by an unlikely twist of fate, Glory and Rita begin a remarkable correspondence. The friendship forged by their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front, and gives them the courage to face the battles raging in their very own backyards. Connected across the country by the lifeline of the written word, each woman finds her life profoundly altered by the other's unwavering support. A collaboration of two authors whose own beautiful story mirrors that on the page, I'll Be Seeing You is a deeply moving union of style and charm. Filled with unforgettable characters and grace, it is a timeless celebration of friendship and the strength and solidarity of women.
A classic of military history about the smaller, personal battles of the First World War
First published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Author: Anna Hope
Publisher: Random House
Anna Hope’s brilliant debut unfolds over the course of five days, as three women must deal with the aftershocks of World War I and its impact on the men in their lives. Wake: 1) Emerge or cause to emerge from sleep. 2) Ritual for the dead. 3) Consequence or aftermath. London, 1920. The city prepares to observe the two-year anniversary of Armistice Day with the burial of the unknown soldier. Many are still haunted by the war: Hettie, a dance instructress, lives at home with her mother and her brother, who is mute after his return from combat. One night Hettie meets a wealthy, educated man and finds herself smitten with him. But there is something distracted about him, something she cannot reach. . . . Evelyn works at the Pensions Exchange, through which thousands of men have claimed benefits from wounds or debilitating distress. Embittered by her own loss, she looks for solace in her adored brother, who has not been the same since he returned from the front. . . . Ada is beset by visions of her son on every street, convinced he is still alive. Helpless, her loving husband has withdrawn from her. Then one day a young man appears at her door, seemingly with notions to peddle, like hundreds of out-of-work veterans. But when he utters the name of her son, Ada is jolted to the core. The lives of these three women are braided together, their stories gathering tremendous power as the ties that bind them become clear, and the body of the unknown soldier moves closer and closer to its final resting place. Advance praise for Wake “Hope’s unblinking prose is reminiscent of Vera Brittain’s classic memoir Testament of Youth in its depiction of the social and emotional fallout, particularly on women, of the Great War. . . . Hope reaches beyond the higher echelons of society to women of different social classes, all linked by their reluctance to bid goodbye to the world the conflict has shattered.”—The New York Times Book Review “Wake is a tender and timely novel, full of compassion and quiet insight. The author gives us a moving and original glimpse into the haunted peace after the Great War, her characters drawn by the gravity of the unmarked, the unknown, and perhaps, finally, the unhoped for.”—Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee “Wake is a compelling and emotionally charged debut about the painful aftermath of war and the ways—small, brave, or commonplace—in which we keep ourselves going. It touches feelings we know, and settings—dance halls, war fronts, queues outside the grocer’s—that we don’t. I loved it.”—Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry “Wake is powerful and humane, a novel that charms and beguiles. Anna Hope’s characters are so real, flawed, and searching, and her prose so natural, one almost forgets how very great a story she is telling.”—Sadie Jones, author of The Uninvited Guests “Using telling detail, Hope creates a vibrant physical and emotional landscape in which her leading characters, and a sea of others, move irresistibly into the future, some having found resolution, others still in search. Fresh, confident, yet understated, Hope’s first work movingly revisits immense tragedy while also confirming her own highly promising ability.”—Kirkus Reviews From the Hardcover edition.
Author: J. M. G. Le Clézio
Out of the Cage
Author: Gail Braybon, Penny Summerfield
Originally published in 1987, Out of the Cage brings vividly to life the experiences of working women from all social groups in the two World Wars. Telling a fascinating story, the authors emphasise what the women themselves have had to say, in diaries, memoirs, letters and recorded interviews about the call up, their personal reactions to war, their feelings about pay and the company at work, the effects of war on their health, their relations with men and their home lives; they speak too about how demobilisation affected them, and how they spent the years between two World Wars.
Author: Roger Vercel, Ted Morgan
Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press
A brutal tale of the exploits of French commandos on the Great War's Bulgarian front
The Book of Ivy
Author: Amy Engel
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
What would you kill for? After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. This year, it is my turn. My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president's son—my soon-to-be husband—and return the Westfall family to power. But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he's not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy. Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him...
With this brilliantly innovative book, reissued for the one-hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker have shown that the Great War was the matrix from which all subsequent disasters of the twentieth century were formed. They identify three often neglected or denied aspects of the conflict that are essential for understanding the war: First, what inspired its unprecedented physical brutality, and what were the effects of tolerating such violence? Second, how did citizens of the belligerent states come to be driven by vehement nationalistic and racist impulses? Third, how did the tens of millions bereaved by the war come to terms with the agonizing pain? With its strikingly original interpretative strength and its wealth of compelling documentary evidence, 14–18: Understanding the Great War has established itself as a classic in the history of modern warfare.