Good-bye to All That

Good-bye to All That

Book - 1957
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In this autobiography, first published in 1929, poet Robert Graves traces the monumental and universal loss of innocence that occurred as a result of the First World War. Written after the war and as he was leaving his birthplace, he thought, forever, Good-Bye to All That bids farewell not only to England and his English family and friends, but also to a way of life. Tracing his upbringing from his solidly middle-class Victorian childhood through his entry into the war at age twenty-one as a patriotic captain in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, this dramatic, poignant, often wry autobiography goes on to depict the horrors and disillusionment of the Great War, from life in the trenches and the loss of dear friends, to the stupidity of government bureaucracy and the absurdity of English class stratification. Paul Fussell has hailed it as ""the best memoir of the First World War"" and has written the introduction to this new edition that marks the eightieth anniversary of the end of the war. An enormous success when it was first issued, it continues to find new readers in the thousands each year and has earned its designation as a true classic.
Publisher: Garden City, NY : Doubleday, 1957
ISBN: 9780385093309
Branch Call Number: 821.91/GRA


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Aw_19 Aug 18, 2017

Honestly, this book was something of a hit-and-miss for me. Parts were enjoyable and funny, but other parts just dragged on and I wasn't sure why he was telling me a particularly story or anecdote. At times it felt that he had just written down whatever he remembered. There's obvious historical value in recording memories, but it doesn't necessarily make for enjoyable reading.

To be even more honest, I gave reading this book about 2/3 of the way through.

P.S. I may give this another shot at a later date.

bibliotechnocrat Jun 12, 2016

In this terrific book, World War I poet and fiction writer (I, Claudius), Robert Graves, writes about his experiences as a young officer. Though the tone seems light, even amusing, it becomes apparent that this is a defense mechanism against the insanity, incompetence, and horrific waste of the First World War. Graves's involvement in rescuing Siegfried Sassoon from his ill-advised diatribe against the war is covered here as well. As an officer and a "gentleman" himself, Graves is well placed to observe the stupidity of relying on a class system for effective leadership. An anti-war book from an extraordinary writer.

May 20, 2015

An autobiographical look at the English class system and WWI by one of England's renowned poets of the time. Well written, interesting and detailed. Well worth reading if you are interested.

Jun 30, 2014

English poet, translator, novelist ("I, Claudius"), and man of letters Robert Graves's celebrated autobiography dwells largely on his service in World War I, but also discusses his upbringing, his unhappy school days, and his post-war years. Wry, observant, and understated, this is a textbook example of how to write a good memoir and his unsentimental views of war, heroism, and British values, which caused some controversy, is refreshing. Graves's literary career brought him into contact with many luminaries, including T.E. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, George "Everest" Mallory, H.G. Wells, and fellow poet and veteran Siegfried Sassoon. You might also like Pat Barker's novel "Regeneration."


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Jun 17, 2015

An "eyes wide open" view of life in the trenches during World War I. Graves, the author of "I, Claudius", gives a graphic, tragic view of life on the front lines. It's dirty, bloody, frightening, and matter-of-fact. We get a view of "shell-shock" before it was PTSD and received the recognition and treatment it deserves.
History becomes real to me through accounts like this. I highly recommend it for history and WWI buffs, and anyone who appreciates a good memoir.

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