All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. trans. by A. W. Wheen.
Little, Brown and Company: Boston, 1929.
Originally Im Westen Nichts Neues
Ullstein A. G.: Germany, 1928.
This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war.

This simple explanation serves as the introduction to the book. The book is a description of war and how it affects those involved. There are others like it (probably several for each major war), but All Quiet on the Western Front is honest and specific without being as abrasive as the others tend to be. It has truths in it that are often avoided in talk of war.

I have heard it said that it should be required reading; I am not sure how much it would matter. I agree with what the book has to say, and more people understanding what war does to people is a positive thing. But I noticed that it was written between WWI and WWII from a German viewpoint-and nothing seems to matter when a government wants to start a war. Not the people and land it will destroy and not the anger of the citizens paying for it. The ultimate factor is still that people in power are gaining from it-power, prestige, and money.
related-World War I, death, nature of war, effects on soldiers, realities of war, artillery fire, monotony, pointlessness, chance, classic literature, social issues

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