Paul Fussell (1924–2012) was the author of many books on war and twentieth-century
culture, including The Great War and Modern Memory, which won the National
Book Award. His memoir Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic chronicles the
time he spent fighting with the 103rd infantry division in World War II.
Burns’s early death at the age of 36 led to the subsequent neglect of this searching book, which captures the shock the war dealt to the preconceptions and ideals of the victorious Americans.