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Walt Whitman
Paul Fussell dies at 88; social historian and critic
Paul Fussell dies at 88; social historian and critic

For social historian and critic Paul Fussell, the most enduring moments of truth came as a 20-year-old platoon leader in France during World War II. German shrapnel tore up his back and thigh. The blood and guts of fellow soldiers were spewed on him. His staff sergeant died in his arms. He realized there was nothing romantic about war, only mud, cold, death, outrage and fear. "The war," Fussell told the Washington Post decades later, "is behind everything I do," beginning with his book "The Great War and Modern Memory," a classic 1975 critique of art and literature after World War I that showed how that conflict forever changed Western society and culture. ...

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