The Great Adventure: Male Desire and the Coming of World War by Michael C. Adams

By Michael C. Adams

In 1914 Europe descended right into a slaughter not like whatever that have been obvious earlier than. but, faraway from seeing the clash as a tragedy, many males welcomed it as a fit improvement for society, a reduction from peace. the good experience explores the highbrow tendencies that made struggle look a usual and excessive expression of social values. this isn't a publication in regards to the particular motives of global warfare I, yet a learn of the temper within which it may well occur.

What the e-book uncovers is a fancy of deeply ingrained attitudes approximately manhood, intercourse, energy, adulthood, boredom, and conflict that outlined a tradition within which battle got here to be obvious as a favorable choice. even though the booklet makes a speciality of attitudes in nice Britain and the us of approximately a century in the past, it makes a remarkably modern assertion approximately males, ladies, and the tradition of war., reviewing a prior variation or volume

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It meant having a roof over our heads again, and a bed in the dry. We could sleep without having to go out into the night four hours later, and without being pursued even into our dreams by the fear of a surprise attack. It made us feel reborn, on the first day of a rest spell, when we'd had a bath, and cleaned our uniforms of the grime of the trenches. We exercised and drilled out on the meadows, to return suppleness to our rusty bones, and to reawaken the esprit de corps of individuals isolated over the long watches of the night.

Our principal source of pride was our building work, which HQ broadly left us to get on with by ourselves. Through constant work, one thirty-step shelter after another was dug out of the chalk and clay soil, and linked by cross-passages, so that we could go from right to left of our frontage in safety and comfort, entirely underground. My own favourite project was a sixty-yard underground passage linking my dugout with the company commander's, with other dormitories and munitions depots off to either side, just like a regulation corridor.

Of course, I was telling you about trench duty. But one loves these digressions; it's an easy matter to start nattering, to fill up a dark night and the slow hours. I would many times stop and listen to the tales of some character from the front, or a fellow NCO, and take in his chatter with rapt attention. As an ensign, I am often engaged in conversation by a kindly duty officer, who suffers equally from the boredom. Yes, the man even gets to be quite pally, talks in a soft, low voice, reveals secrets and desires.

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