Men at War

  • Posted on: 22 December 2010
  • By: admin

Men at War (many men feel that war is the ultimate test of what it takes to be a man)

“The Red Badge of Courage” (1st modern war book)

“All Quiet on the Western Front” by E. M. Remarque

“Catch-22” by J. Heller (an attack on the very idea of America waging war – just or otherwise)

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut (from Dresden to Vietnam; WWII atrocities – but not by the Germans! An honest look into the Allies' efforts to win the war, through actions which made many wonder if there should be ethics during combat - the burning of Dresden, which killed pretty much the entire civilian population of the city is analyzed from the perspective of an American soldier who witnessed the events first hand)

“War and Peace” by (the consequences of Napoleon’s invasion for the Russian upper classes)

“Atonement” by Ian McEwan (great movie to go along with the book)

“Birdsong” by Sebastian Faulks

“Company K” by William March

“Dispatchers” by Michael Herr

“Apocalypse Now”

“Full Metal Jacket”

“Goodbye to all that” by Robert Graves (life in the trenches of WWI and its traumatic psychological effects)

“The Iliad” by Homer (old-style, gruesome fighting; the taking of Troy) - great movie (Troy) to go along with this book

“Life and Fate” by Vasily Grossman (the siege of Stalingrad)

“The Quiet American” by Graham Greene (1950’s Vietnam)

“Three Soldiers” by John DosPassos (psychological impact of military life and war on the individual)

"The Wind-up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami

Images of War (MOVIES) - sometimes you can use a book and a movie for an IB extended paper, to compare and contrast how certain events appear in prose versus the big screen (when you choose something like this, focus on how movies are usually adapted to suit the tastes of the audiences (pro-American? pro-Western?)

“Black Hawk Down” - Movie about the failed UN and USA missions to Somalia

“Hotel Rwanda” - Movie about the Rwandan genocide (Tutsis vs. Hutu) and the UN's inefficient way of dealing with civil war

“Shake Hands with the Devil” - Canadian movie about the Rwandan genocide showing a real-life hero, Canadian General Dellaire trying to negotiate an end to fighting from the position of a UN Peacekeeper. This is an amazing movie, albeit more political than some young people might like, but it's important because it shows the less glamorous side of war - the politics of peacekeeping, which are extremely difficult to negotiate, especially when there is no peace.
***It's important to note that both movies, "Hotel Rwanda" and "Shake Hands with the Devil" show the difference individuals can make, even under terrible circumstances. Sometimes we feel like we are small and insignificant, and therefore we cannot play a significant role in history, but these movies will prove otherwise. They are both true stories of modern-day heroism.

“Saving Private Ryan” - move about the D-Day Invasion in Normandy (WWII)

“Full Metal Jacket”

“Behind Enemy Lines” - movie showing the inner-workings of the conflict in Yugoslavia which resulted in genocide against the Muslim minorities in Serbia

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