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Author Paul Fussell booklist (click here)

Book Review By David Loftus
Thank God for the Atom Bomb and other essays by Paul Fussell

Fussell, primarily a literary historian, has alternated between books about society (_Class_, _Bad, or the Dumbing of America_, _The Boy Scout Handbook_) and books about war (_The Great War and Modern Memory_, _Doing Battle_). This one is a little closer to the latter, but not a lot. The essays range from how people deal with unpleasant facts (Fussell is scorching about novelist and poet May Sarton's vanity) to visiting nudist camps ("Taking It All Off in the Balkans"). The title essay, in which he discusses the complex moral position of being a US Army vet who may owe his life to the death of thousands of Japanese civilians, is interesting to read in tandem with something like Takaki's _Hiroshima_. Note that Fussell specializes in sour wit.


Kind Of History
Time of history: - 1940's
History of military? Yes
History of a people? Yes
Nationality?
Specific war? - World War II

Setting
United States Yes
Asia/Pacific Yes
Asian country: - Pacific Islands
If applicable, liberal/conservative? - Historian is moderately conservative

Writing Style
Book makes you feel... - challenged
Minor characters feature lots of:
Pictures/Illustrations? - None
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