Taylor, David (2006) Blood, Mud and Futility? Patrick MacGill and the Experience of the Great War. European Review of History, 13 (2). pp. 229-250. ISSN 13507486

Despite a growing body of detailed studies of key aspects of the Great War, there remains a dominant image of the war as a major tragedy in which the idealism of a generation of young men was exploited by their incompetent and callous elders and out of which there emerged a profound disillusionment and rejection of past values. Such an interpretation rests on the evidence of a small, and untypical, number of 'soldier-writers'. By exploring the contemporaneous writings of a relatively unknown figure, Patrick MacGill, this article offers an alternative perspective that recognises both the well-known horrors of the Great War but also the persistence of certain 'heroic' values that have been misleadingly obscured by the well-known retrospective accounts of the war.

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