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Great Warrior

Robert Wohl, 21 January 1982

Memoirs of War 1914-15 
by Marc Bloch, translated by Carole Fink.
Cornell, 177 pp., £9, July 1980, 9780801412202
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... introduction, by Carole Fink. Readers who have derived their idea of what the war was like from Robert Graves, Erich Maria Remarque or Vera Brittain may be surprised, and even slightly shocked, by what they find in these pages. There is no bitterness towards those held responsible for the war, no sense of betrayal by the older generation, no shattering of ...

World’s End

Robert Wohl, 21 May 1981

August 1914 The Proud Tower 
by Barbara Tuchman.
Papermac, 499 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 333 30516 7
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... How good is Barbara Tuchman’s history? In one respect, the question is irrelevant because her readers have already answered it by purchasing hundreds of thousands of copies of her books. This fact alone might tempt the ‘serious’ student of history to dismiss her. But leaving aside her two Pulitzer prizes and her mountain of admiring reviews – many by distinguished and indisputably serious historians – Tuchman is not so easily dismissed ...

Do Not Fool Around

E.S. Turner, 24 November 1994

A Passion for Wings: Aviation and the Western Imagination, 1908-1918 
by Robert Wohl.
Yale, 320 pp., £25, October 1994, 0 300 05778 4
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... French vers, or lines). It seems the poems still lie in a musty box in the archives. Robert Wohl, who teaches European intellectual and cultural history at the University of Los Angeles, does not say whether he rummaged through that musty box, but he has turned up many a fascinating source for his book. His purpose is to remind us of the ...


Frank Kermode, 19 June 1980

The Generation of 1914 
by Robert Wohl.
Weidenfeld, 307 pp., £12.95, March 1980, 0 297 77756 4
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... Generationalism’, as Mr Wohl designates the practice of thinking about history and society in terms of the characteristics attributed, usually by themselves, to members of particular age-groups, is a conceptual device nobody seems to have studied very closely till the 19th century. Not, of course, that conflicts between youth and age hadn’t been noticed: ‘they hate us youth,’ as Falstaff remarked, thinking of his behaviour rather than his age ...


Frank Kermode, 14 May 1992

The Gonne-Yeats Letters, 1893-1938 
edited by Anna MacBride White and A. Norman Jeffares.
Hutchinson, 544 pp., £25, April 1992, 0 09 174000 2
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... socialism of James Connolly, two of the 16 who, along with MacBride, were executed in 1916. Robert Wohl in his book The Generation of 1914 writes about the vogue of martial mysticism that took hold all over Europe at the time, and Ireland was not immune. Hindsight may regard it as unhealthy, largely because of the fate of that generation, but also ...


John Bayley, 2 February 1989

The Lost Voices of World War One: An International Anthology of Writers, Poets and Playwrights 
edited by Tim Cross.
Bloomsbury, 406 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 7475 0276 5
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by Paul Celan, translated by Michael Hamburger.
Anvil, 350 pp., £15.95, January 1989, 0 85646 198 9
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Flights of Passage: Reflections of a World War Two Aviator 
by Samuel Hynes.
Bloomsbury, 270 pp., £13.95, November 1988, 0 7475 0333 8
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... or dangerous. And always it made its mark, left some inexplicable compulsion behind. As Robert Wohl points out in his conclusion to The Lost Voices, Hitler was a veteran of the trenches, and he found his own way of exorcising and transforming the experience. ‘A war has no end for those who fought it,’ said Curzio Malaparte, who grew up ...
... European revolution that there has ever been. Carl Steffeck’s painting of the execution of Robert Blum. It was also in some respects a global upheaval, or at least a European upheaval with a global dimension. The news of revolution in Paris had a profound impact on the French Caribbean and the measures adopted by London to avoid revolution on the ...

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