The Boys' Crusade by Paul Fussell
The American Infantry in Northwestern Europe, 1944-1945 (Modern Library Chronicles)

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Synopsis

The Boys’ Crusade is the great historian Paul Fussell’s unflinching and unforgettable account of the American infantryman’s experiences in Europe during World War II. Based in part on the author’s own experiences, it provides a stirring narrative of what the war was actually like, from the point of view of the children—for children they were—who fought it. While dealing definitively with issues of strategy, leadership, context, and tactics, Fussell has an additional purpose: to tear away the veil of feel-good mythology that so often obscures and sanitizes war’s brutal essence.

“A chronicle should deal with nothing but the truth,” Fussell writes in his Preface. Accord-ingly, he eschews every kind of sentimentalism, focusing instead on the raw action and human emotion triggered by the intimacy, horror, and intense sorrows of war, and honestly addressing the errors, waste, fear, misery, and resentments that plagued both sides. In the vast literature on World War II, The Boys’ Crusade stands wholly apart. Fussell’s profoundly honest portrayal of these boy soldiers underscores their bravery even as it deepens our awareness of their experiences. This book is both a tribute to their noble service and a valuable lesson for future generations.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Paul Fussell

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Paul Fussell is at University of Pennsylvania.
 
Published September 9, 2003 by Modern Library. 208 pages
Genres: History, War, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Boys' Crusade

Kirkus Reviews

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Brief, wholly memorable essays--sometimes little more than vignettes--on a season in hell.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Boys' Crusade: The Americ...

The Guardian

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The Boys' Crusade: American GIs in Europe - Chaos and Fear in World War Two by Paul Fussell 208pp, Weidenfeld, £9.99 It can be highly instructive to hear one's own country described by outsiders.

Oct 23 2004 | Read Full Review of The Boys' Crusade: The Americ...

Publishers Weekly

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Thorough research has not prevented some questionable pieces of historiography, such as leaving out the resistance the American army eventually generated in the Battle of the Bulge.

Jul 14 2003 | Read Full Review of The Boys' Crusade: The Americ...

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