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.”
Roger Harrison
Associate Professor
School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering