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Amid the Ruins: Damon Runyon: World War I Reports from the American Trenches and Occupied Europe, October 1918–March 1919, with a Selection of His Wartime Poetry

Alan D. Gaff & Donald H. Gaff

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Despite Damon Runyon’s iconic status as a fiction writer and reporter, one particular chapter of his extraordinary career has been completely overlooked. During World War I he was an accredited war correspondent—writing a series of dispatches from Europe, he followed the American Doughboys through France, into Germany, and back home. This period marked a monumental transition not only in America’s view of itself and its role in the world, but of Runyon’s own style and how we could come to portray America. Along with his collected dispatches, this volume also includes his wartime poetry. Biographical and literary introductions and exhaustive notes provide additional information about the people, places, and events that made up his writing. A vital bridge from his earlier regional writing to his later Broadway works, these stories of civilians thrust into military uniforms provide a rare behind-the-scenes look at World War I and the formation of Runyonesque style itself.

Size: 7" x 10" | 49 b/w photos | 288 pp
ISBN13: 9780764357855

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Alan D. Gaff is a successful and respected military historian. Blood in the Argonne was a finalist for the Distinguished Writing Award from the Army Historical Foundation. On Many a Bloody Field was a selection of the History Book Club and a University Press National Bestseller. If This Is War and Our Boys: A Civil War Photograph Album won awards of merit from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Other titles include Bayonets in the Wilderness and the forthcoming St. Clair’s Defeat, the American army’s disastrous campaign of 1791. Donald H. Gaff is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Northern Iowa and, with Alan D. Gaff, coedited the books Ordered West and A Corporal’s Story.