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Charles Yale Harrison was a machine-gunner in the First World War. After being wounded, he was a writer in Montreal and later New York, where he died in 1954. Wade Davis is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and the author of 15 books including Into the "Silence: The Great War," "Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest."
[Review of previous edition: ] Harrison's damning indictment of a war in which generals die in bed while soldiers die in a lousy trench resonates with the impact of his experiences.... From Montreal with recruits celebrating their departure and crowds waving flags and cheering, the scene shifts abruptly to the unspeakable horrors of the trenches. None of his training has prepared the teenage protagonist and narrator (never given a name) for the actuality of the trenches... In stark and powerful prose, the narrator chronicles his experiences, admitting he can find nothing to appease his terror.... Although the narrative is often abrupt and stark, the rhythm of language effectively communicates the ugliness and harsh reality that is the lot of soldiers on the front lines.... Generals Die in Bed is no gentle treatise on war; it stands as a reminder of the insanity of using warfare to solve political problems, of sacrificing human beings for ideological purposes. Highly Recommended.--Darleen Golk"Canadian Materials" (11/15/2002) [Review of previous edition: ] The author, an American working in Canada, served with the Royal Montreal Regiment during the war. His fictionalized account of experiences in the vermin-filled trenches of Europe does not glorify the experience. First published in 1930, the book leaves no doubt that combat was brutal, conditions severe, and recruits not likely to die in the comfort of a bed. This new edition includes an introduction that places the book in context, plus a map of the front and archival photographs.... The writing is a terse staccato, echoing gunfire and pounding hearts, and reinforcing tension.... Period photographs add to the book's gritty, poignant reality. This powerful literary work deserves an audience beyond young adults.--Linda Salisbury"ForeWord" (05/01/2002) [Review of previous edition: ] A classic... an almost clinical account of war's brutalizing effects.--Brian Bethune"Macleans" (11/08/2004)