Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brian Reviews "All Quiet on the Western Front" on Suite 101!

OK "Today in History" readers (again I stipulate: to the hitherto unknown extent that you actually exist) - this is the last of these "Go and read me somewhere ELSE"
postings for awhile. "Suite 101" requires one to write 10 articles every 3 months. Well it was getting down to the end of my initial three month enlistment to that group, and I needed to get in my 8th, 9th and 10th articles fast! So I went back to three book reviews which I had written for Dr. Arnold Schreier's European History course when I attended the University of Cincinnati waaaaaaaay back in the early
1980's, and for which the good doctor had given me high marks. And I slightly recycled them for Suite 101. Rest assured, they were all essays written by ME, for books which I did indeed READ. But they were available, and required less work RIGHT NOW than I would have had to do for three original articles.
SO - without further adieu :

Book Review: "All Quiet on the Western Front".
Erich Maria Remarque's Harrowing Story of Trench Warfare.
Jan 27, 2010 Brian T. Bolten

The young private, Paul Baumer must endure the hardships, privations and the daily terror of combat during the age of trench warfare. We look at his story of survival.

It could be said of World War One that it was the most shattering event in history. The word "shattering" would be singularly appropriate for a number of reasons. First, the world order as it was at the conflicts outset, was shattered and forever lost. Three imperial dynasties - the Hapsburgs in Austria, the Hohenzollerns in Germany, and the Romanovs in Russia were swept away from history's pages for good. The Austro-Hungarian empire itself, wherein the war had begun was wiped off the map, becoming several countries, with one - Yugoslavia - seething with ethnic resentments that were destined to spill over into the "ethnic cleansing" and mass rapes of the late 20th Century. Second is the way in which this war shattered the lives of the young men who fought in it. An entire generation of young men was lost in the totally senseless slaughter of the trenches. And those who survived were forever changed by the horrors they had witnessed. It is this human element - clearly the most far reaching in its effect - which forms the central focus of Erich Maria Remarque's novel "All Quiet on the Western Front".

Read more at Suite101: Book Review: "All Quiet on the Western Front".: Erich Maria Remarque's Harrowing Story of Trench Warfare.

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