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War Stories: The War Memoir in History and Literature

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War Stories

The War Memoir in History and Literature

Edited by Philip Dwyer

334 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-307-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2016)

ISBN  978-1-78533-840-3 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (April 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-308-8 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $27.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The articles… all provide insights and are all engaging, a trait not often found in edited volumes. The topics range over time (from 17th-century European wars to present-day Afghanistan) and over continents (Europe, North America, Asia, Africa)… Dwyer’s own introductory article incisively orients readers not only to the memoir field, but also to the various perspectives and approaches inherent in war memoir presentation.” • Choice

“The strength of the collection is that it draws together the themes of war-related historical narratives and contemporary memories on an international scale. The juxtaposition of these case-studies enables the reader to analyse how various national mythologies have been built and/or destroyed by (and with) the assistance of wartime memoirs…[The volume] shows that the study of war and memory was not just an academic fad of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The field of study continues to flourish, and the volume is a welcome addition to our continuing conversations about war, history and memory.” • English Historical Review

“The overall quality and scope of this collection are excellent. Its methodological chapters are particularly strong, its case studies are well-chosen, and it manages to cover major engagements while giving attention to long-neglected topics.” • Sönke Neitzel, London School of Economics


Although war memoirs constitute a rich, varied literary form, they are often dismissed by historians as unreliable. This collection of essays is one of the first to explore the modern war memoir, revealing the genre’s surprising capacity for breadth and sophistication while remaining sensitive to the challenges it poses for scholars. Covering conflicts from the Napoleonic era to today, the studies gathered here consider how memoirs have been used to transmit particular views of war even as they have emerged within specific social and political contexts.

Philip Dwyer is Professor in Modern European History and Director of the Centre for the History of Violence at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His recent publications include Theatres of Violence: Massacre, Mass Killing and Atrocity throughout History, coedited with Lyndall Ryan (2012). His monograph Napoleon: The Path to Power, 1769-1799 (2008) won the Australian National Biography Award.

Subject: History (General) Cultural Studies (General) Literary Studies Memory Studies



Chapter 1. Making Sense of the Muddle: War Memoirs and the Culture of Remembering
Philip Dwyer

Chapter 2. War Memoirs, Witnessing and Silence
Jay Winter

Chapter 3. ‘A Lively School of Writing’: George Gleig, Moyle Sherer and the Romantic Military Memoir
Neil Ramsey

Chapter 4. ‘The Tallest Pine in the Political Forest’: Race and Slavery in the Confederate Veteran’s Memoir, 1866–1915
Craig A. Warren

Chapter 5. British Memoirs and Memories of the Great War
Ian Isherwood

Chapter 6. A Cog in the Machine of History? Japanese Memoirs of Total War (1937–45)
Aaron William Moore

Chapter 7. Post-Soviet Russian Memoirs of the Second World War
Roger D. Markwick

Chapter 8. Reimagining the Yugoslav Partisan Epic
Vesna Drapac

Chapter 9. The War That Was Not: 1948 Israeli War Memoirs
Ilan Pappe

Chapter 10. Remembering the ‘Endless’ Partition: From Memoirs about the 1947 Conflict to the Post-Memoir
Tarun K. Saint

Chapter 11. ‘To Be Made Over’: Vietnamese-American Re-education Camp Narratives
Subarno Chattarji

Chapter 12. Memoir Writing as Narrative Therapy: A South African Border War Veteran’s Story
Gary Baines

Chapter 13. Pugnacity, Pain and Professionalism: British Combat Memoirs from Afghanistan, 2006–14
Joanna Bourke


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