Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other—if only he can come out of the war alive.
"The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first trank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
The world has gained a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will.
From the Publisher
“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review
Classic novel of young German classmates headed off to war and horror in the trenches. The sequel, The Road Back, covers their return to a devastated country.
Erich Maria Remarque, who was born in Germany, was drafted into the German army during World War I. Through the hazardous years following the war he worked at many occupations: schoolteacher, small-town drama critic, race-car driver, editor of a sports magazine. His first novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, was published in Germany in 1928. A brilliant success, selling more than a million copies, it was the first of many literary triumphs. When the Nazis came to power, Remarque left Germany for Switzerland. He rejected all attempts to persuade him to return, and as a result he lost his German citizenship, his books were burned, and his films banned. He went to the United States in 1938 and became a citizen in 1947. He later lived in Switzerland with his second wife, the actress Paulette Goddard. He died in September 1970.
"Summer of 1918-Never was life in the line more bitter and more full of horror than in the hours of the bombardment, when the blanched faces lie in the dirt and the hands clutch at the one thought: No! No! Not now! Not now at the last moment!"
—from All Quiet on the Western Front
Biographical Sketch 9
The Story Behind the Story 17
List of Characters 20
Summary and Analysis 23
Critical Views 52
Brian Murdoch on All Quiet on the Western Front as a Weimar Antiwar Novel 52
Brian Murdoch on Remarque and Homer 57
A.F. Bance on the Novel's Best-seller Status 63
Chris Daley on the Force of Silence in All Quiet on the Western Front 68
Hildegard Emmel on All Quiet on the Western Front as a Weimar Novel 71
Vita Fortunati on the Representation of World War I in Hemingway, Remarque, and Ford Madox Ford 75
Dorothy B. Jones on the Film Version of the Novel 79
Helmut Liedloff on A Farewell to Arms and All Quiet on the Western Front 83
Alfredo Bonadeo on Paul Baumer's Relationship to German Culture 87
Modris Eksteins on the Novel as a Postwar Commentary 92
Hans Wagener on the Final Chapter of All Quiet on the Western Front 96
Robert Baird on Hollywood's Ambivalence to World War I Novels 100
Wilhelm J. Schwarz on Remarque's Memorial to the Unknown Soldier 105
Works Erich Maria Remarque 110
Annotated Bibliography 111