Under Fire (Hardcover)
Under Fire (1916) is a novel by Henri Barbusse. Written from notes taken while Barbusse was serving in the First World War, the novel was quickly recognized as a powerful tale of perseverance and comradery in the face of unspeakable suffering. Intended to promote the cause of pacifism, Under Fire is deeply critical of the rich and powerful men whose inability to live peacefully leads time and again to the sacrifice of countless human lives. "Each country whose frontiers are consumed by carnage is seen tearing from its heart ever more warriors of full blood and force. One's eyes follow the flow of these living tributaries to the River of Death. To north and south and west afar there are battles on every side. Turn where you will, there is war in every corner of that vastness." Even from a distance, war is hell on earth, but it is not something that can be described in the abstract, if it can be described at all. Such a luxury--available only to the leaders who declare war's beginning and end--is not afforded to those are sent to fight. Following a squad of French volunteers on the Western front, Henri Barbusse provides a realistically brutal vision of death and survival that refuses to glorify the loss of a single life. As a soldier-turned-pacifist, Barbusse brings his reader as close as possible to the trenches and fields of battle in order to dispel the myths that continue to justify and obscure the deaths of the poor and powerless. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Henri Barbusse's Under Fire is a classic work of French literature reimagined for modern readers.