The literature of war /

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Other Authors: Riggs, Thomas, 1963-
Format: Book
Published:Detroit : St. James Press, c2012
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Review by Choice Review

This heavily illustrated work is organized into three volumes: "Approaches," "Experiences," and "Impacts." The set features two- to four-page in-depth reviews by 35 contributors of some 300 works influenced by or composed as the result of military conflicts from 1400 BCE up to 2004. Volume 1, for example, has six sections that highlight ways in which literature represents war in theories, histories, satire, propaganda, eyewitness accounts, or experiments. Julia Ward Howe's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" serves as an example of propaganda, and Caesar's The Gallic War, of history. Each section features an "Overview," a "Historical and Literary Context," "Themes and Style," and "Critical Discussion." Worth noting is that this set does not present the actual works themselves but rather an examination of the works, complete with lists of sources and further reading suggestions. Among the selection criteria for a work's inclusion are its perceived importance to university curricula; genre, region, or country of the author and of the conflict; and time period.The goal is to assist readers in identifying and understanding various themes, focus, language, psychological and social impact, and war perception through the eyes and words of sundry authors. Despite numerous indexes to volumes and themes, the print volumes would be much easier to use if they were arranged alphabetically--particularly for anyone looking for a specific author or title, e.g., The Gallic War. This is, however, a perfect work for acquisition as a stand-alone e-book or as part of an e-book collection such as the Gale Virtual Reference Library (CH, Dec'05, 43-1903) or CREDO Reference (CH, Feb'09, 46-2980). Electronic searching features simplify its use. This set will be valuable for those collections--whether reference or circulating, print or electronic--that specialize in military affairs or world literature. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. M. J. Smith Jr. Tusculum College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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