Mark Dapin’s anthology, From the Trenches, is a timely but not opportunistic book. At more than 400 pages, it is long enough to suggest the sheer scale of the war and its centrality to European (if not world) history ever since. It samples all the relevant genres (letters, memoir, journalism, fiction, poetry) and offers a multiplicity of viewpoints (senior ranks, subalterns, NCOs, privates, and nurses). The book is not simplistically pro- or anti-war, but its overall message is unmistakable. The whole enterprise was a huge and bloody mistake, stupidly prolonged by inadequate politicians for more than four years.
A huge and bloody mistake
From the Trenches: The Best Anzac Writing of World War One
edited by Mark Dapin
Viking, $39.99 hb, 430 pp, 9780670077816
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