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An Intimate History of Killing: Face-to-Face Killing in Twentieth Century Warfare

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  121 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The characteristic act of men at war is not dying, but killing. Politicians and military historians may gloss over human slaughter, emphasizing the defense of national honor, but for men in active service, warfare means being - or becoming - efficient killers. In An Intimate History of Killing, historian Joanna Bourke asks: What are the social and psychological dynamics of ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published November 27th 2000 by Basic Books (first published 1999)
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Aug 16, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-Conceptualmente interesante y de ejecución discutible.-

Género. Ensayo.

Lo que nos cuenta. Revisión del acto de matar en tiempos de guerra, centrado en la Gran Guerra, la Segunda Guerra Mundial y la Guerra de Vietnam, de sus implicaciones tanto en el soldado individual como en la sociedad, los factores internos y externos que pueden afectar el desempeño homicida bélico, los problemas de la vuelta del soldado a la sociedad civil en tiempos de paz y la relación de todo ello con la cultura del siglo
T. Robert
Feb 22, 2016 T. Robert rated it really liked it
While there may not be any great new discovery about this subject in this book, it is a worthy effort to show how the need to kill in combat affects soldiers in many ways. The subject remains misunderstood or ignored by the broad population, but it is such a difficult reality for those who face it.
From the ethics of war, I now turn to violence in war. I read this, hoping for a little supplement to David Grossman's 'On Killing', and came away disappointed.

A blurb on the back claims that this is 'revisionist history', and yet I found nothing particularly revealing or new about this, especially after Grossman's book. War is primarily about killing the enemy, and this is a shock to some people! On several instances, I found that several of the sources are novels, which were interpreted and an
This book focusses on the experience of British, American and Australian soldiers in the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Vietnam War. Based on primary accounts and interviews with former soldiers, Bourke constructs an analysis of the personal experience of conflict which challenges the 'war as hell' myth. Instead, the book shows how Western militaries have perfected the creation of the soldier, and the manner in which war can often be perceived as a positive experience to the individ ...more
Nov 11, 2008 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The author covers the evidence from four nations in four wars to document some elements that are obvious when you think about them and some the are counter-intuitive. On the obviousl side: killing is a tiny proportion of the act of war, as almost all the people and energy in involved are focused on transporting people and food from one place to antoher. On the counter-intuitive side, the tiny fraction of soldiers who actually kill people (as opposed to they large group involved in buying, transp ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Işıl rated it it was ok
it's one of those books that make you go "tell me something I don't know!" Such a huge dissappointment.
Jan 08, 2011 Caroline rated it really liked it
Joanna was my old history professor and supervisor at Uni. A very happy time
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Joanna Bourke (born 1963 in New Zealand) is an historian and professor of history at Birkbeck, University of London.
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