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War Is Beautiful: An American Ambulance Driver in the Spanish Civil War

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War Is Beautiful: An American Ambulance Driver in the Spanish Civil War Cover

ISBN13: 9781595584274
ISBN10: 1595584277
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"'Who could see you and not remember you?' Federico Garcia Lorca wrote in 1926, describing the brutality of the Guardia Civil, Spain's paramilitary police, toward his beloved Gypsies....For decades, Lorca's insistence on remembrance clashed with Spain's post-Franco pacto del olvido, or pact of forgetting, an agreement between the government and the army that opened the door to democracy in exchange for a sweeping amnesty of the Franco regime. Recently, however, the pact has shown signs of unraveling." Dan Kaufman, The Nation (Read the entire Nation review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The newly discovered journal of an award-winning poet's experience on the front lines as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade—All Quiet On the Western Front for the Spanish Civil War.

In 1937, James Neugass, a poet and novelist praised in the New York Times, joined 2,800 other passionate young Americans who traveled to Spain as part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade—an unlikely mix of artists, journalists, industrial workers, and intellectuals united in their desire to combat European fascism.

Although rumors persisted over the years that Neugass had written a memoir, the manuscript of War Is Beautiful, a nuanced and deeply poetic chronicle of his service as an ambulance driver, did not come to light for sixty years, until a bookseller discovered it among papers in a New England house once occupied by the radical critic and editor Max Eastman. The memoir combines fast-paced accounts of darting onto battlefields to pick up the wounded with elegiac renderings of days spent "on alert" in an ever-changing series of sharply observed Spanish towns, enduring that most difficult of wartime activities: waiting.

Published now for the first time, War Is Beautiful is poised to take its place alongside works by Erich Maria Remarque, Irène Némirovsky, Wilfred Owen, and George Orwell as a transcendent contemporaneous rendering of wartime life. It includes some of Neugass's own photos taken while in Spain.

Synopsis:

Neugass, an American ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled his service as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. This newly discovered journal of his experience on the front lines is being published for the first time.

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Michael O'Connor, December 23, 2008 (view all comments by Michael O'Connor)
I am a combat veteran of the American War in Vietnam. I mention this as a verifiable foundation for my statement that the author captured the essence of fighting a most brutal and physically draining war in unforgiving terrain and weather.

James Neugass clearly described the draining boredom and mental exhaustion that happens when a soldier has nothing to do but wait for death to makes its appearance in the sudden and explosive reality of combat. He constantly makes the reader aware of yet another death by his use of the asterisk; frightening, and real. Especially effective was the many descriptions of him having to drive for cover when the "avions" appeared overhead while he was driving.

Sleep, weather, and chow, the main concerns of a combat infantryman seems to appear on every page, and rightly so. You can sense the lack of communication between echelons and the resulting confusion before, during and after engagements. Remarkably accurate depictions of the "real deal", as they say today.

Finally, Neugass intersperses bits of combat knowledge with a sharp, sardonic tongue.

My only criticism of the work is one of grammar. Capitalization of words seems to be inconsistent; pronouns capitalized in mid-sentence. I don't know if is the result of poor proof reading or if English is not the first language of the person transcribing the journal. Whatever, I found it distracting.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9781595584274
Author:
James Neugass and Peter N. Carroll and Peter Glazer
Publisher:
New Press
Editor:
Carroll, Peter N.
Editor:
Glazer, Peter
Author:
Carroll, Peter N.
Author:
Neugass, James
Author:
Glazer, Peter
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
History
Subject:
Medical care
Subject:
United States - Reconstruction Period (1865-1877)
Subject:
Europe - Spain & Portugal
Subject:
Military - Other
Subject:
Spain History Civil War, 1936-1939.
Subject:
Authors
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20081031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
314
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Featured Titles » Biography
History and Social Science » Europe » Spain and Portugal » Spanish Civil War
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Spain

War Is Beautiful: An American Ambulance Driver in the Spanish Civil War Used Hardcover
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$12.50 In Stock
Product details 314 pages New Press - English 9781595584274 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "'Who could see you and not remember you?' Federico Garcia Lorca wrote in 1926, describing the brutality of the Guardia Civil, Spain's paramilitary police, toward his beloved Gypsies....For decades, Lorca's insistence on remembrance clashed with Spain's post-Franco pacto del olvido, or pact of forgetting, an agreement between the government and the army that opened the door to democracy in exchange for a sweeping amnesty of the Franco regime. Recently, however, the pact has shown signs of unraveling." (Read the entire Nation review)
"Synopsis" by , Neugass, an American ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled his service as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. This newly discovered journal of his experience on the front lines is being published for the first time.
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