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Denebola » Article » All Quiet on the Western Front
Book Review

All Quiet on the Western Front

By Denebola
Published: November 2007
By Jamie Zhang
All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria
Remarque, captures the traumatizing experiences of
Paul Baumer, a soldier in the German army during World
War I.
Through its damning portrayal of atrocities committed
in the name of country and patriotism, Remarque
ultimately denounces nationalism as a hypocritical
ideology, responsible for the decimation of an entire
generation.


Today, Remarque’s message proves more important than
ever before, as warmongers posing as politicians in
Washington attempt to manipulate patriotism into a
vehicle by which they can advance political ends.
Some, under the pretext of “The War on Terror,” wish
to convince us that it is worth the sacrifice to throw
our bravest men and women into civil wars and take
their deaths as something tragic but “necessary.”
In the end, our best method of combating fear
mongering propaganda can be found in literature,
whether it be All Quiet on the Western Front or a poem
like “Dulce et Decorum Est.” As a great teacher once
told me, “It is sometimes through fiction that we
learn to discern truths from lies,” and nowhere is the
truth about war more presciently exposed than in
Remarque’s masterpiece.

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