Doing Battle by Paul Fussell
The Making of a Skeptic

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A soldier recounts his experiences during World War II and explains how, after being seriously wounded, he vowed he would never take orders again, a decision that colored his later years as a Harvard graduate student and Rutgers University professor.

About Paul Fussell

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Paul Fussell Jr. was born in Pasadena, California on March 22, 1924. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 while attending Pomona College. During his tour of duty, he won the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He returned to college in 1945. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Pomona College in 1947 and a master's degree and a doctorate in English from Harvard University. He taught English at Connecticut College for Women, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania. During this time he wrote several books on literary topics including The Rhetorical World of Augustan Humanism: Ethics and Imagery from Swift to Burke, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, and Samuel Johnson and the Life of Writing. In 1975, he published The Great War and Modern Memory, which was a study of World War I and how its horrors fostered a disillusioned modernist sensibility. This book won both the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and the National Book Award for Arts and Letters. His other works include Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, BAD: Or, the Dumbing of America, and Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic. He died of natural causes on May 23, 2012 at the age of 88.
Published October 1, 1996 by Little Brown & Co (T). 310 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Doing Battle

Kirkus Reviews

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From literary historian Fussell (The Angi-Egotist, 1994;

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Publishers Weekly

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War began to change Fussell when, days after his arrival, he saw his first bodies: ""My boyish illusions, largely intact to that moment of awakening, fell away all at once, and suddenly I knew that I was not and would never be in a world that was reasonable or just."" When Fussell returned home a...

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This book recounts in heart-wrenching detail the combat experiences of a 20-year-old infantry lieutenant as he leads his men across France in late 1944 and early 1945.

Aug 12 2001 | Read Full Review of Doing Battle: The Making of a...

World War II Database

This is the exploration of a life, an autobiography, and if you read it, expect to learn about Fussell's family, his experiences in the war as an Army infantry officer, his post-war experiences studying to be an English professor, his academic and publishing career, but most importantly his criti...

Sep 04 2005 | Read Full Review of Doing Battle: The Making of a...

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