Books That Inspire 2005


 
Some Desperate Glory: the World War I Diary of a British Officer
Edwin Campion Vaughn


This diary of eight months in the life of a British second lieutenant in World War I is a masterpiece of extemporaneous writing during wartime. Especially inspiring is this officer’s courage and steadiness during an 11-day stretch in the continuous mud and heavy German shelling of the Battle of Passchendaele. Vaughn’s powerful writing helps us visualize the appalling human loss during this war:

“…I stood up and looked over the front of my hole. There was just a dreary waste of mud and water, no relic of civilization, only shell holes… And everywhere were bodies, English and German, in all stages of decomposition.”
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Roger Harrison
Associate Professor
School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering