Under Fire follows the fortune of a French battalion during the First World War. For this group of ordinary men, thrown together from all over France and longing for home, war is simply a matter of survival, and the arrival of their rations, a glimpse of a pretty girl or a brief reprieve in hospital is all they can hope for.
Henri Barbusses was born in 1873 in Asni res-sur-Seine, France. He fought as a volunteer in the First World War, which inspired his masterpiece Under Fire (1916). The book was criticised for its harsh naturalism and hatred for militarism, but won the Prix Goncourt. A noted pacifist and later a communist, Barbusse's socialist novel Clarte (1920) lent its name to a short-lived internationalist movement. His other works include The Knife Between the Teeth (1921) and Le Judas de Jesus (1927). Henri Barbusse died in the Soviet Union in 1935, of pneumonia. He was writing a second biography of Stalin at the time.
One of the most influential of all war novels * History Today *