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Axis/Axes to Grind: Political Slants in American World War II Novels, 1945-1975 (Hardcover)

Axis/Axes to Grind: Political Slants in American World War II Novels, 1945-1975 Cover Image
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Axis/Axes to Grind studies various types of political themes in American World War II novels of three decades. Political, which is essentially about power and control, includes interpreting the meaning of the war and predicting the political climate of post-war America (The Naked and the
Dead, The Young Lions); exploring the dynamics of individual and group rebellions against military authority (From Here to Eternity, The Caine Mutiny, Catch-22); and tracing conflicts between various minorities and the dominant socio-political ethos of military authority (White, Christian,

These conflicts can occur among enlisted men (The Young Lions, From Here to Eternity) but more often between military policies, such as racial segregation, and minorities (And Then We Heard the Thunder, Guard of Honor, The Gallery). The locales of these conflicts are also various: on board a ship
during a typhoon, at an Army Air Force training base, even in a war industry (If He Hollers, Let Him Go). War novels written well after the war tend to see the war through the lens of the author's own times. Thus, Slaughterhouse-Five is as much about anti-war protests during the Vietnam war as it is
about the firebombing of Dresden. And in Gravity's Rainbow, the industrial cartels that enable the V-2 rocket attacks against London prefigure the military-industrial complex of Pynchon's time.

Where necessary, the book provides historical context (e.g., Martha Gellhorn's experience at Dachau) to further clarify the novels' political themes.

About the Author

Although I began my research by focusing on modernists and modernism (E. E. Cummings, Hemingway, modernist groups), I've gradually shifted towards political themes involving modernist writers, such as how four modernist poets (Stevens, Frost, Cummings and Williams) responded to leftist criticism intheir 1930s poetry; and how three major authors of the 1930s (Steinbeck, Wright and Hemingway) moved to and away from the Left and how these political oscillations affected their great novels at the end of the decade. My current book, Axis / Axes to Grind, continues to study political themes but nowapplied to American World War II novels.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781949979749
ISBN-10: 1949979741
Publisher: Clemson University Press
Publication Date: August 1st, 2021
Pages: 224
Language: English