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The Backwash of War: An Extraordinary American Nurse in World War I (Paperback)
  • The Backwash of War: An Extraordinary American Nurse in World War I (Paperback)
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The Backwash of War: An Extraordinary American Nurse in World War I (Paperback)

(author), (editor)
£18.50
Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 05/02/2019
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"We are witnessing a phase in the evolution of humanity, a phase called War-and the slow, onward progress stirs up the slime in the shallows, and this is the Backwash of War. It is very ugly."-Ellen N. La Motte In September 1916, as World War I advanced into a third deadly year, an American woman named Ellen N. La Motte published a collection of stories about her experience as a war nurse. Deemed damaging to morale, The Backwash of War was immediately banned in both England and France and later censored in wartime America. At once deeply unsettling and darkly humorous, this compelling book presents a unique view of the destruction wrought by war to the human body and spirit. Long neglected, it is an astounding book by an extraordinary woman and merits a place among major works of WWI literature. This volume gathers, for the first time, La Motte's published writing about the First World War. In addition to Backwash, it includes three long-forgotten essays. Annotated for a modern audience, the book features both a comprehensive introduction to La Motte's war-time writing in its historical and literary contexts and the first extended biography of the "lost" author of this "lost classic." Not only did La Motte boldly breach decorum in writing The Backwash of War, but she also forcefully challenged societal norms in other equally remarkable ways, as a debutante turned Johns Hopkins-trained nurse, pathbreaking public health advocate and administrator, suffragette, journalist, writer, lesbian, and self-proclaimed anarchist.

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN: 9781421426716
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 318 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In editing the new scholarly edition of Backwash, Wachtell added illuminating introductory and biographical essays robustly researched from primary sources; a bibliography; timeline; photographs; and three wartime essays by La Motte... More than a century after its appearance, Backwash remains a truth bomb. -- Rosemary Hutzler Raun * Johns Hopkins Magazine *
The Wachtell edition - a fascinating mix of history, literature and women's studies - is a very important piece of scholarship, deserving of a wide audience... When one thinks of literary classics of WWI, Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, and perhaps E.E. Cummings' The Enormous Room usually come to mind... And now there's this one, The Backwash of War: An Extraordinary American Nurse in World War I, which came before any of those others... My congratulations to Dr. Wachtell. My highest recommendation. -- Tim Bazzett * Library Thing *

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