Understanding the Literature of World War II: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

Understanding the Literature of World War II: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

by James H. Meredith
     
 

With insightful analysis, factual contextual information, and illuminating historical documents, this book provides a detailed, but broad perspective on the most destructive event in history. The literature analyzed in this book includes that of novelists and poets such as Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer, Irwin Shaw, Kurt Vonnegut, William Styron, Richard Wilbur,

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Overview

With insightful analysis, factual contextual information, and illuminating historical documents, this book provides a detailed, but broad perspective on the most destructive event in history. The literature analyzed in this book includes that of novelists and poets such as Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer, Irwin Shaw, Kurt Vonnegut, William Styron, Richard Wilbur, James Dickey, Paul West, and Bette Green. Along with interviews with these literary luminaries that personalize the war and help to make connections between the literature and the actual experiences of those involved, Meredith also provides rare historical documents that enhance the reader's understanding of the military and political strategies of the major forces of the war.

Each chapter provides a literary analysis of the most relevant literature for students on the topic of that chapter, followed by a historical overview of the aspect of the war that will aid the student to understand the historical context of the literature. Primary documents, especially interviews and memoirs, will help students to build bridges between history and the fictional accounts they read. Each chapter is followed by topics and questions for class discussion, suggestions for student papers, and a selected bibliography. This comprehensive casebook will be valuable for interdisciplinary study of World War II and the literature most frequently taught in high school English and history classes.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Striving to be all things to all students, this book will inevitably fail those who look closely. However, researchers who need a fact or a quote to pad their paper on Catch 22, Snow Falling on Cedars, or The Summer of My German Soldier will definitely find some nugget here. Divided into five sections ("The Combatants"; "The Home Front"; "Occupation, Resistance, and Espionage"; "The Holocaust"; and "The Atomic Bomb"), this book is a conglomerate of literary analysis, interviews, and selections from primary-source materials. The latter are the book's most valuable assets, and readers will wish for more. The selection from Mein Kampf is all of 300 words and the quotes from Ernie Pyle add up to about the same. And as for the literary analysis, it is at best cursory. Works are discussed briefly (anywhere from one to three pages) with occasional odd and oddly sweeping comments such as, "-poetry is primarily a philosophical, reflective form-." If you have students who desire nothing but predigested materials, then maybe this book should be on your shelf. However, it may be the abundance of titles like this that aid us in turning out students who think they don't like to read and hate to do research.-Herman Sutter, Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Booknews
Aimed at high school English and history students, this text offers an interdisciplinary look at such aspects of World War II as the experience of combatants, the home front, the Hiroshima bombing, and the Holocaust. The text combines analysis of the works of such writers as Elie Weisel, Joseph Heller, John Steinbeck, William Styron, Bette Green, and Norman Mailer with historical overviews of particular aspects of the war. Also included are some primary documents, mainly consisting of interviews and memoirs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313304170
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/30/1999
Series:
Greenwood Press "Literature in Context" Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

JAMES H. MEREDITH is Associate Professor of English at the United States Air Force Academy. He is also an Associate and Book Review Editor for War, Literature and the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities, and has served as Guest Editor as well. He has published on Ernest Hemingway, Ambrose Bierce, Stephen Crane, and war literature. He is currently working on several book-length projects, including one on Joseph Heller's fiction, which will be published in 1999.

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