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Men at War: What Fiction Tells Us about Conflict, from The Iliad to Catch-22


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In Men at War, Christopher Coker, a professor of international relations at the LSE, picks over the last three thousand years of warfare in literature to see ‘what fiction tells us about war’s hold on the imagination of young men and the way it makes – and breaks – them’. From The Iliad to World War III, via the Napoleonic era, Dresden and Vietnam, Coker investigates five ‘personalities’ – ‘warriors’, ‘heroes’, ‘villains’, ‘survivors’ and ‘victims’ – and incorporates examples as diverse as Henry IV and Dr Strangelove, McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and the Flashman novels.

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