Cover: The Language of War: Literature and Culture in the U.S. from the Civil War through World War II, from Harvard University PressCover: The Language of War in PAPERBACK

The Language of War

Literature and Culture in the U.S. from the Civil War through World War II

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$36.00 • £31.95 • €32.95

ISBN 9780674015944

Publication Date: 02/01/2005


320 pages


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The Language of War reminded me of my first reading of Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory. Dawes’s intellectual history of how language was used for 100 years in thinking and writing about war gives us the critical tools to understand his inquiry into the difficulties of meaning inherent in formulations of modern laws of war.—Thomas Palaima, The Times Higher Education Supplement

Immensely readable.Civil War Book Review

This book is a meditation on the relationship between violence and language, not only in the ways that violence impedes, corrals, or squelches speech but also in the ways the assumptions embedded in words trigger, presume, or encourage violence. The book shows the ways—potentially—language can challenge violence and expose the terror and silencing of war.—Lyde Cullen Sizer, Journal of American History

This highly theoretical work examines the role language plays in making war real… The author constructs a careful philosophical understanding of 19th-century modes of situating war through various narrative and rhetorical strategies… [This book] is elegant and suited to complex philosophical inquiry.—B. Adler, Choice

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