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The Language of War


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Language and Violence: The Civil War and Literary and Cultural Theory 1. Counting on the Battlefield: Literature and Philosophy after the Civil War 2. Care and Creation: The Anglo-American Modernists 3. Freedom, Luck, and Catastrophe: Ernest Hemingway, John Dewey, and Immanuel Kant 4. Trauma and the Structure of Social Norms: Literature and Theory between the Wars 5. Language, Violence, and Bureaucracy: William Faulkner, Joseph Heller, and Organizational Sociology 6. Total War, Anomie, and Human Rights Law Notes Index

About the Author

James Dawes is DeWitt Wallace Professor of English at Macalester College.


This highly theoretical work examines the role language plays in making war real...The author constructs a careful philosophical understanding of 19th-century modes of situating war through various narrative and rhetorical strategies...[This book] is elegant and suited to complex philosophical inquiry. -- B. Adler * Choice *
This book is a meditation on the relationship between violence and language, not only in the ways that violence impedes, corrals, or squelches speech but also in the ways the assumptions embedded in words trigger, presume, or encourage violence. The book shows the ways -- potentially -- language can challenge violence and expose the terror and silencing of war. -- Lyde Cullen Sizer * Journal of American History *
The Language of War reminded me of my first reading of Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory. Dawes's intellectual history of how language was used for 100 years in thinking and writing about war gives us the critical tools to understand his inquiry into the difficulties of meaning inherent in formulations of modern laws of war. -- Thomas Palaima * The Times Higher Education Supplement *
Immensely readable. * Civil War Book Review *

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