“Goodbye to All That,” by the renowned poet Robert Graves is a first hand account of his time spent in France as an English soldier during World War I.
Graves gives a descriptive account of WWI that is wholly unemotional and thus very believable. The author doesn’t brag or glamorize his war experience, even though he was a brave soldier in areas of intense fighting and was entering the war as a significant emerging English poet of his era. His descriptions of the horrors of trench warfare and grueling existence within the trenches makes the book one of the best accounts of WWI I have read to date. He does not sugar coat it, he is remarkably honest and does not paint over the time with an idealist brush. He simply describes his own experiences managing to survive the war.
Interesting note, Robert Graves attended Oxford after the end of the First World War, and became friends with T.E. Lawrence, Graves doesn’t make a big deal about this, but does casually mention a few humorous stories and notes his early reading of Lawrence’s famed, “Seven Pillars of Wisdom.”
‘Goodbye to All That,” by Robert Graves receives a perfect 10/10 on the Fletcher Dilmore book review scale. A must read for any would be historian of World War One or anyone looking to better their understanding of the realities of trench warfare.
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