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eBook Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I download

by Stephen O'shea

eBook Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I download ISBN: 0380731673
Author: Stephen O'shea
Publisher: Harper Perennial (November 1, 1998)
Language: English
Pages: 205
ePub: 1310 kb
Fb2: 1446 kb
Rating: 4.9
Other formats: lrf azw rtf mbr
Category: History
Subcategory: Military

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FREE shipping on qualifying offers. World War I is beyond the memory of almost everyone alive today. Paris-based journalist O'Shea walked the length of the Western Front of World War I during the summers from 1986 to 1995

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Yet it has left as deep a scar on the imaginative landscape of our century as it has on the land where it was fought. Nowhere is that more evident than on the Western Front―the sinuous. Paris-based journalist O'Shea walked the length of the Western Front of World War I during the summers from 1986 to 1995. The journey was a personal one: both his grandfathers had fought on the front lines.

Back to the Front book. Stephen O’Shea, a self-proclaimed accidental historian, took a job teaching English in France and while there developed an interest in the World War One trenches

Back to the Front book. Stephen O’Shea, a self-proclaimed accidental historian, took a job teaching English in France and while there developed an interest in the World War One trenches. Both his Irish grandfathers donned British uniforms to fight in the trenches. One volunteered and the other was part of the draft. They both survived the war, but one great-uncle of O’Shea’s on his mother’s side was killed in battle at age twenty.

For journalist Stephen O'Shea, the legacy of the Great War is personal (both his grandfathers fought on the front lines) and cultural. Back to the Front is a remarkable combination of vivid history and opinionated travel writing. Stunned by viewing the "immense wound" still visible on the battlefield of the Somme, and feeling that "history is too important to be left to the professionals," he set out to walk the entire 450 miles through no-man's-land to discover for himself and for his generation the meaning of the war.

Home Browse Books Book details, Back to the Front: An. . For journalist Stephen O'Shea, the legacy of the Great War is personal (both his grandfathers fought on the front lines) and cultural.

Home Browse Books Book details, Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks. Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I. By Stephen O'Shea.

the Trenches of World War 1. Stephen O’Shea. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Used by permission of the University of Iowa Press.

World War I is beyond the memory of almost everyone alive today. An evocative fusion of past and present, Back to the Front will resonate, for all who read it, as few other books on war ever have.

O'Shea also recalls his two Irish grandfathers, who survived the senseless carnage (as soldiers of the British Crown), albeit at considerable cost in mental and physical pain. Antiwar by conviction at the start of his explorations, he's something very like a militant pacifist at the end of a decade-long journey.

I would like to have walked with O'Shea and in rereads of this excellent book, do so frequently.

book by Stephen O'Shea. I would like to have walked with O'Shea and in rereads of this excellent book, do so frequently.

As O'Shea traipses across the sites of the Great War's many tragedies, he paints a devastating picture of the butchery and incompetence that produced them. Outside Ypres, Belgium, he visits the Langemarck cemetery where more than 44,000 Germans are buried, many of them half-trained student volunteers mowed down by British machine-gunners. O'Shea is no romantic

World War I has left as deep a scar on the imaginative landscape of our century as it

has on the land where it was fought. Nowhere is that more evident than on the

Western Front, a narrow swath of land in which millions of lives were lost. Believing

that "history is too important to be left to the professionals," journalist Stephen

O'Shea set out to walk the 450 miles through no-man's-land to discover for his generation

the meaning of the war. As his walk progresses, O'Shea recreates the shocking battles of the Western Front, and offers an impassioned perspective on the war, the

state of the land, and the cultivation of memory. An evocative fusion of past and present, BACKT TO THE FRONT will resonate, for all who read it, as few other books on war ever have.

Comments: (7)
Olelifan
Can't remember what possessed me to read this book, but I have never regretted it and given many copies of it as gifts. This book is really a bit of a travelogue in many respects. The author walks from one end of the Western Front (WWI) to the other and his engaging, journal style narrative brings you along for a fascinating ride.

After spending decades walking battlefields of the American Civil War, I found it intriguing to follow O'Shea's journey through the terrible battlefields of the War to End all wars. His experiences as he traverses ordnance and relic filled trenches and forests to the many memorials are really insightful and differ greatly from the kind of lionization of American Civil War battlefields that is so prevalent today.

In fact, the battlefields of the Great War seem to lie in a wierd sort of isolation. O'Shea frequently stumbles upon long deserted villages (this in the heart of Europe) and the experience is discomforting. And this is perhaps as it should be. These tortured fields of the Western Front were the scene of the greatest mass slaughter of armed humanity the world has yet experienced. Indeed, his journey and experiences are in fact lighter and more sanguine than dark and despairing.

O'Shea never strays too far in over-moralizing the futility of war, but of course the evidence he encounters conveys the true waste of war more than written words ever can.

I would like to have walked with O'Shea and in rereads of this excellent book, do so frequently.
Darksinger
Stephen O' Shea's novel really brings the horrors of what the soldiers faced during World War I. The stupidity of the leaders, the soldiers that blindly followed orders and what life in the trenches was really like. The sections of France that have been been given over to other countries because of the mass numbers of dead from this war. Mr. O' Shea gives voices to those who gave there lives in this war. I would highly recommend this book.
Voodoolkree
As a student of WW I, I have many books on the subject. Compilations of different authors, Then and Now pictorials, etc. "Back to the Front" is a Baby Boomer reluctant evolutionary progress as O'Shea travels from the North Sea to Switzerland over a 10 year period. I am 79 years old and this is probably the most succinct rendition and summarization of the effects of WW I that I have read; including A.J.P Taylor, Mosier,Cowley, Keegan,Fussel, and Fromkin (in such a small volume). I reviewed the book in a humanities class and received an A from my professor for my efforts. However, he took us to France to the Western Front also, so there was a personal visitation involved to underpin my submission. O'Shea's summarization on the effects of the war, both geographically and in the mind, and his quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc., are wonderfully descriptive. It allowed me to place in perspective the societal events of my life which occurred in the last century and attach personal meaning to their unfolding. I highly recommend this work for your library. For history students Michael Ignatieff's quote from The Russian Album I find most evocative of an emotional attachment to the book.
Whitestone
I found the book both factual and interesting. The author offers a description of the battlefields of the Somme of the first World War as he saw them when he travelled there almost half a century after the conflict. He couples his description of the countryside, the townships and villages and ruins as he hikes along the trench line from Belgium through France to the Swiss border with historical facts.Through sharing details of his family members who took part in the conflict, some of whom lay buried in war cemeteries, the reader joins him in what becomes almost a pilgrimage. This book would be of particular interest not only to the historian but also to the reader who has a concern for the long lasting devastation caused by war.
Gravelblade
My uncle fought in World War I and I heard limited stories of his experiences. At the time I was too young to know what questions to ask him. "Back to the Front" gave me not only geogrpahy of the area, but the author's personal experiences in revisiting an era lost to most of us in my generation and those younger than I am.

It elicited in me feelings for the people involved in a social, political and military straegy revolution. Europe would never be the same after The Great War, and neither would the world. "Back to the Front" is an excellent overview of events before, during and after World War I.
Ynap
The book provides a poet's view of World War I, delivering a powerful and refreshing perspective on a story too often dehumanized by political and battle details.

Perhaps elderly generals unfamiliar with newly industrialized warfare could be forgiven for marching men into machine guns the first time... or the second... or third -- but, as O'Shea so exquisitely describes, it happened again and again for the entire course of the war, and yet the generals learned nothing. But the soldiers in the field knew what pointless inevitable doom awaited them, as revealed by O'Shea's poignant quotes of period poetry and letters. And all for a war that did little more than set up even more vicious battles of 20 years later.

In the end O'Shea's book is not about the war, troop movements, politics, or nationalities, but about something much more spooky and universal: the human spirit, and what it leaves behind. We need haunted authors like O'Shea to report to us from the field from which the echoes of old mortar blasts never fully fade...

Til
Coidor
Unique and interesting. Good price!
Exceeded expectations.