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45+ Works 4,784 Membros 82 Reviews

About the Author

Michael Korda was born on October 8, 1933 in London, England. He was educated at Le Rosey in Switzerland and at Magdalen College, Oxford. While serving in the Royal Air Force, he took part in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. On its fiftieth anniversary, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the mostrar mais People's Republic of Hungary. He is the former editor in chief of Simon & Schuster. He is also the author of numerous books including Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain, Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, and Cat People, co-authored with his wife Margaret. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Michael Korda. Photo courtesy Darien Library.

Obras de Michael Korda

Ike: An American Hero (2007) 489 cópias
Queenie (1985) 229 cópias
The IMMORTALS (1992) 192 cópias
The Fortune (1989) 143 cópias
Cat People (2005) 131 cópias
Curtain (1991) 104 cópias
Worldly Goods (1982) 97 cópias
Success (1977) 51 cópias
Catnip: A Love Story (2018) 19 cópias
Power in the Office (1976) 3 cópias
Queenie [2] 2 cópias
Queenie [1] (1986) 2 cópias
Isn't She Great? (2000) 2 cópias
Gloria. 1. 1 exemplar(es)
De odödliga : [roman] 1 exemplar(es)
Book business 1 exemplar(es)
Vietman, a History 1 exemplar(es)
Vidas encantadoras (1980) 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum



Robert E. Lee and the American Civil War em History: On learning from and writing history (Agosto 2014)


Right up my alley, it seemed: WWI literature and history, Sassoon and Owen plus a few more. Pretty good reviews in the Washington Post and the NYT, unlikely to be available in my local rural library, and looked to be a worthy addition to my shelves of volumes on this topic.

Well, not really. I already knew I didn't care for Rupert Brooke's attitude: "Come and die! It will be great fun," he wrote to a friend as the war geared up. He adored Peter Pan, seeing it performed many times; was flippant about how anything was better than getting old. And (as Korda never stops telling us) he was drop-dead gorgeous, a charming, privileged, posturing little snot whom everyone (up to and including the Prime Minister and Winston Churchill) fawned on, and who went after and through women like water. The guys liked him too, apparently, and Korda speculates endlessly on his sexual life. I finally grew too weary of yet another mention of his bare feet, his flowing golden locks, the nude bathing parties and the parade of girls - all beautiful, of course. I skipped ahead to make sure he died - which he did, of an infected mosquito bite - and I was more than done with Rupert.

I knew less about Alan Seeger, another jingoistic war fanboy, who truly loved that war. He was never happier than marching into battle. Perhaps he was a cautionary example to his nephew, a musically-inclined guy named Pete.) Another son of a well-to-do family, he was devoted to arts and poetry, and his parents were content to support him as he mingled with poets and artists in New York and then Paris. Korda also ponders his exceeding good looks and his sex life, without much conclusion. When the war broke out, he joined the French Foreign Legion and clearly found his calling. It served his poetry, as his "Rendez-Vous With Death" is a patriotic favorite, glorifying the nobility of choosing war over love. Still, he wasn't quite as obnoxious as Brooke, and a bit more earnest and sincere. And Korda usefully identifies the song sung by a defiant French soldier before he is shot in No-Man's-Land in the excellent film A Very Long Engagement, as Seeger fought in Craonne, the epicenter of the French mutinies of 1917. I was happy to know where that poignant moment came from in the film!

On to Isaac Rosenberg, and now the book gets more interesting. A working-class Jewish kid, his life is a struggle against poverty, poor health, and anti-Semitism. Devoted to poetry, he was also a talented painter, who managed to scrape up funds to study at the Slade school alongside artists like Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer (whose name Korda manages to misspell). He ends up in a "bantam" regiment for men under the regulation height when the army was desperate, curled up in filthy, muddy trenches, scribbling out sketches and poems on random scraps of found paper. He looked at the gruesome realities of the war without blinking, and wrote dry, vivid poems accordingly: how the carts crunched over the bones of heaped corpses. He was blown to pieces at the age of 28 - a stoic, tragic, brave sufferer. And Korda seems not to be so fixated on his sex life.

Then we get to The Big Three: Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen. Readers familiar with Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy will know these guys. Korda finally hits his stride here, biographizing them, their backgrounds (two privileged, one not so much), their poetry, their relationships with and influences on each other, with competence. Maybe we don't need to know quite so much about Sassoon's horsemanship, though Korda himself is an enthusiastic horseman, so I'll let that pass. We are subjected, alas, to further delving into their possible / likely / we-cannot-know aspects of their sex lives. But this section is more rewarding in bringing these three men alive, and bigger, better doses of their poetry.

So. Skip the Brooke chapter and prepare to tolerate Seeger. Put up with Korda's sexual focus, which really doesn't seem to bring much to an appreciation of their characters or their poetry, or even their war experience. I was troubled by some sloppy editing: many repetitive descriptions (Brooke's hair and barefoot preferences...); misspellings (Owen is referred to as "Owens" more than once); and a curious reference to "Declaration Day" as the precursor of Memorial Day... how could any editor not catch that it was Decoration Day? And a plain old error of fact: Korda attributes the Father Brown stories to Hilaire Belloc, when they were written by G.K. Chesterton. And yes, I submitted corrections to the publisher's website.

For enthusiasts only. And read Charles Glass's excellent Soldiers Don't Go Mad for a more in-depth look at the psychological trauma of the war on these poets.
… (mais)
JulieStielstra | May 22, 2024 |
TE Lawrence was one of the first superstars made possible by modern communications. His accomplishments are almost too astonishing to believe, and this is a very fine read of his exploits.
MylesKesten | outras 14 resenhas | Jan 23, 2024 |
Got this book from my mom from the CCHS library. Read in the winter of 2023 (most of it during my trip to Norfolk, VA). This was by far the most reading I have done on President Eisenhower so it was a very interesting an informative read. I read this right after completing the Last Lion trilogy, so this expanded on my knowledge of WWII in Europe. I gained a great deal of respect for Ike's leadership style throughout his entire career in the Army and as president. His devotion to duty combined with his humility enabled him to focus on his ever challenging work, most notably his role as Supreme Commander in Europe, and prevented him from being focused on his own individual exploits and ego. Probably not the best book about Ike, but one that I had on the shelf for free and was able to read pretty quickly.… (mais)
1 vote
SDWets | outras 8 resenhas | Mar 19, 2023 |
Extremely light weight, but mildly entertaining survey of the changing tastes of America's readers as reflected in bestseller lists.
sjnorquist | outras 2 resenhas | Feb 28, 2023 |



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