Two Short Books on World War I

Not Merely For Fun

German advance

It’s convenient that the hundredth anniversary has come around, but the real reason I’m reading these is that I was trying to get rid of some books I bought on impulse that are now cluttering up my life. 

I got started with Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger.  When he died in 1998 at the age of 102, Junger was the last living holder of Pour le Merite, the highest military honor of the German Empire (says Wikipedia).  I bought the book a few years ago when I was reading Clive James’ stimulating Cultural Amnesia, a kind of rambling encyclopedia of little known interwar types.  The impression I get is that Junger is a little hard to figure out.  His memoir is important, gripping, well written stuff, but though he was never a Nazi, he’s too militaristic for many people to stomach.

junger crop Ernst Junger

Junger hardly ever looks…

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