Academic journal article Military Review

SHADOWS OF WAR: A Social History of Silence in the Twentieth Century

Academic journal article Military Review

SHADOWS OF WAR: A Social History of Silence in the Twentieth Century

Article excerpt

SHADOWS OF WAR: A Social History of Silence in the Twentieth Century, Efrat Ben-Ze'ev, Ruth Ginio, and Jay Winter, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2010, 234 pages, $85.00.

In today's society, we are inundated with noise. We hear the music that assaults us on the streets, the commentaries from the TV, and the diatribes from Internet blogs. The thoughts of others constantly assault our ears and minds. This book seeks to pull away from the clamor that accompanies our day-to-day lives and focuses instead on quiet, the silence between words. Refreshingly, the book is all about silence.

The book is a collection of essays, and at first glance, the book appears to be a philosophical tome that meanders about a nebulous topic. However, as the reader delves into the book, it is clear the essays have a common goal-to explore the silence often associated with war. Silence here is defined not as soundlessness, but as what we do not say when we recount our experiences. What we leave out of our recollections, as well as the silence we use when we pay homage to those who have died, speaks volumes about how we feel and how we are affected by the world around us. …

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