David Coward: Artilleur Pireaud writes home
21 June 2007
Show More Your Death Would Be Mine: Paul and Marie Pireaud in the Great War by Martha Hanna.
Harvard, 341 pp., £17.95, November 2006, 0 674 02318 8Show More
“... In August 1914, France mobilised jubilantly. ‘La Patrie’ was in danger and men and women of all classes and stations rallied to its defence. Florid voices on the clerical, aristocratic, conservative right defined patriotism grandly, as a mystical religion rooted in the land. Others, more worldly but no less exalted, were clear that patriotism was a hard-won secular tradition under constant threat from socialism, collectivism, anarchism, internationalism, individualism and now, most urgently, from the latest migration of Teutonic barbarism ...”