Jeff Deist hosts a solo show to discuss one of his favorite novels from childhood, All Quiet on the Western Front. Its young protagonist Paul Bäumer, barely out of adolescence, narrates the horrors of trench warfare from the perspective only a grunt soldier can provide. Bäumer and his mates lose their innocence, along with various limbs and often their lives. But what makes the book so compelling is not simply the description of wartime savagery, but the dialogue between the men: stripped of any illusions, they see the futility of killing and maiming simply to capture a few more feet of no-man’s land. The dialogue in Chapter 9 between the men, arguing about whether states of “people” go to war, is masterful. This is a book every passionate antiwar advocate needs to read time and again.
All Quiet on the Western Front on Amazon: Mises.org/AllQuiet
Jeff Deist’s review of They Shall not Grow Old: Mises.org/ShallNot