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Archived Reading Groups

All but the last two years of book club groups at Texas Tech University Library

Discussion Questions

  1. In the preface the author usually sets the tone and the mood of the book to follow. In war literature like All Quiet on the Western Front, the author tries to convey the impression that one cannot really experience a war without actually participating in it. Then in the rest of the book the author tries to write a book that conveys his war experiences as convincingly as possible.

    Do you think Remarque's preface does this? Does Remarque prepare the reader for an experience that they will not be able to fully appreciate?
  2. What do you think of Remarque's use of the words, "accusation, confession, and destroyed?" Compare your impressions of these words after you finish the book.
  3. Before you start reading, what are your feelings reading about the war experiences of German soldiers?
  4. The preface in your books reads:
    "This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand fact to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war."

    An earlier edition of the preface reads as follows:

    "This book is intended neither as an accusation nor as a confession, but simply as an attempt to give an account of a generation that was destroyed by the war-- even those of it who survived the shelling."

    Do you think the change in wording changed the meaning of the preface? If so, how does the revised preface in your book change the meaning of the preface?

Mondays during April 2015: All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet


All Quiet on the Western Front

Bibliography for Additional Reading

Books (listed alphabetical by author, first five are in the TTU Libraries call number included):

Black, Jeremy (2011). The Great War and the Making of the Modern World. New York: Continuum International Publishing. ISBN 978-0-82644-093-8 TTU Libraries call number: D521 .B433 2011

MacMillan, Margaret (2003). Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-37576-052-5 TTU Libraries call number: D644 .M32 2002

Reynolds, David (2014). The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-39308-863-2 TTU Libraries call number: D523 .R43 2104

Tate, Trudi (2013). Modernism, History and the First World War. Penrith: Humanities-Ebooks, LLP. ISBN 978-1-84760-240-4 TTU Libraries call number: PR 478 M6 T374 1998 print edition

Winter, Jay (2009). Legacy of the Great War: Ninety Years On. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press. ISBN 978-0-82621-871-1 TTU Libraries call number: D504 L44 .09

Beckett, Ian F. W. (2007). The Great War: 1914-1918. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-40581-252-8 

Fussell, Paul (1975). The Great War and Modern Memory. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 363 p. ISBN 0-19-501918-0

Gilbert, Martin (2004). The First World War: A Complete History. New York: Holt Paperbacks. ISBN 978-0-80507-617-2

Herwig, Holger H. (2009).The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918 (Modern Wars) New York: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-0340573488 

Hochschild, Adam (2012). To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918. Boston and New York: Mariner Books. ISBN 978-0-54775-031-6

Isenberg, Michael Thomas (1981). War on Film: The American Cinema and World War I, 1914-1941. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. ISBN 0-8386-2004-3

Keegan, John (2000). The First World War. New York: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-37570-045-3

Keegan, John (2001). The First World War; An Illustrated History. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-179392-0.

Kennan, George (1984). The Fateful Alliance: France, Russia, and the Coming of the First World War. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 978-0-39453-494-7

Liddell-Hart, Basil H. (1970). History of the First World War (3rd (1973) ed.). Trowbridge: Redwood Burn Ltd.

Liddell-Hart, Basil H. (2012). World War I in Outline. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59416-161-2

Meyer, Gerald J (2006). A World Undone: The Story of the Great War 1914 to 1918. Random House. ISBN 978-0-553-80354-9.

Philpott, William (2009). Bloody Victory: The Sacrifice on the Somme and the Making of the Twentieth Century (1st ed.). London: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-1-4087-0108-9.

Philpott, William (2014). War of Attrition: Fighting the First World War. New York: Overlook Press. ISBN 978-1-46830-268-4

Silkin, Jon, ed. (1996). The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (2nd ed.). New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-118009-9. 

Watson, Alexander (2014). Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-46501-872-7.

Films (list chronologically by film date):

Wings (1927), directed by William A. Wellman tells the story about two fighter pilots. The film is one of only two silent movie to win the Academy Oscar for Best Picture.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), movie directed by Lewis Milestone, based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque (1929).

Hell's Angels (1930), movie directed by Howard Hughes.

Sergeant York (1941), movie directed by Howard Hawks

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), directed by Michael Curtiz

Paths of Glory (1957), movie directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by Humphrey Cobb (1935)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962), movie covering events surrounding T. E. Lawrence in the pan-Arabian Theatre, starring Peter O'TooleAlec GuinnessAnthony Quinn, and Omar Sharif and directed by David Lean

Doctor Zhivago (1965), movie by David Lean, based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, deals with Russia's involvement in the war and how it led to that country's Revolution.

The Blue Max (1966), movie directed by John Guillermin, titled after the Prussian military award, or Pour le Mérite

Johnny Got His Gun (1971), movie directed by Dalton Trumbo

Gallipoli (1981), movie directed by Peter Weir

War Horse (2011), movie directed by Steven Spielberg, adaptation of British author Michael Morpurgo's 1982 novel.