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Tributes: Paul Fussell

Friday, June 01, 2012

Paul Fussell enlisted in the army in 1943 -- and on his first morning on a battlefield, he woke to find corpses strewn in front of him. He was wounded, and awarded a Purple Heart as well as the Bronze Star for gallantry. Scarred by these experiences, he spent the rest of his life trying to demystify the romanticism of battle, beginning with his study of the Great War.  Military historian John Keegan, who was a friend of Fussell's, calls The Great War a "simply superb book that will be read long after he's dead." Paul Fussell was a guest a number of times on the Leonard Lopate Show, before he died recently at the age of 88.  And you can still hear one of those interviews from 2002.

 

Paul Fussell on the Leonard Lopate Show in 2002

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Comments [1]

BJK from Queens

His stepson, Cole Behringer called his father: "a serviceman to the world in terms of understanding the horrors of war."
Fussell was the real deal: he wrote what he knew, and he knew war, the horror and the insanity of it.
I stumbled upon his books 'Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War', and 'Doing Battle', the Making of a Skeptic', an autobiography, with emphasis on his wartime obervations and experiences.
He wrote with razor sharp wit and emotional accuracy.
His essay: 'Thank God for the Atomic Bomb' is a stunningly honest and accurate rebuke of what has become the 'necessary' way of assessing this event. It is Fussell at his best:
http://crossroads.alexanderpiela.com/files/Fussell_Thank_God_AB.pdf

Jun. 05 2012 04:46 PM

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