Mr. Stephen Crane's picture of the effect of actual fighting on a raw regiment is simply unapproached in intimate knowledge and sustained imaginative strength. In the supreme moments of the fight he is possessed by the fiery breath of battle, and finds an inspired utterance that will reach the universal heart of man. This extraordinary book will appeal strongly to the insatiable desire to know the psychology of war—how the sights and sounds, the terrible details of the drama of battle, affect the senses and the soul of man. This is not merely a remarkable book; it is a revelation Mr. Crane has laid the War God on the dissecting-table, and exposed his every bone and nerve and sinew and artery to the public gaze.
People wrote to me, men and women, who, like me, had lost their sons. Their letters brought the tears to my eyes anew. They were tender letters, and beautiful letters, most of them, and letters to make proud and glad, as well as sad, the heart of the man to whom they were written.... "Don't desert us now, Harry!" It was so that they put it, one after another, in those letters. "Ah, Harry-there is so much woe and grief and pain in the world that you, who can, must do all that is in your power to make them easier to bear!... Come back to us, Harry-make us laugh again!" -from Chapter IX Scottish vaudevillian SIR HARRY LAUDER was one of the most popular entertainers in the world before World War I, touring the globe numerous times to great acclaim. But he almost left the stage for good after his only child, Captain John Lauder, was killed in action in France just after Christmas 1916... until his wife, Nance, and his fans reminded him that his power to bring joy and laughter to the world was too important to be abandoned. Here, in this stirring 1918 book, Lauder (1870-1950) relates how he transformed sorrow to action, honoring his son's last words -"Carry on!"- by becoming the first performer to entertain troops in the battlefields, a dangerous mission (he regularly came under fire) he carried out in both world wars. Knighted in 1919 for his service to the British Empire, Lauder is an inspiration to this day, and this is a remarkable tale of a father's grief and a legacy that continues to affect soldiers and their families today.
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