From their accounts most men entered the war lightheartedly, filled with ideals of patriotism and glory, but these generous feelings were soon quelled as the war settled into a stalemate, its operations reduced to simply grinding away the opposing forces. In these operations, Alfredo Bonadeo shows, men became mere aggregations thrown against one another, wasted with no appreciable effects or gains, save carnage itself.
This cheapening and disregard for human life and being Bonadeo finds rooted not only in the conditions of war but, significantly, in a contempt for the common man prevailing in European political and intellectual circles. This attitude is revealed most plainly in his analysis of the Italian literature, which hitherto has received little note. Italian leaders saw the war as an opportunity to expiate a sense of national guilt, and here the inconclusive campaigns made their futility all the greater.
Out of the torn fields of the First World War grew the seeds of a second, greater conflict, but, Professor Bonadeo concludes, the flowering of the seeds was aided by the degradation of man's spirit on those fields. The grim focus of this book, the dead voices it evokes, leads to a new appreciation of the meaning of the Great War.
|Publisher:||University Press of Kentucky|
|Product dimensions:||5.91(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|