One Man’s Initiation: 1917, 1920

Of World War I, Dos Passos writes in a letter: “The war is utter damn nonsense—a vast cancer fed by lies and self-seeking malignity on the part of those who don’t do the fighting.” The author infuses One Man’s Initiation with this anger at the absurd logic, awesome power, and devastating effects of the modern war machine. His first published novel, it is ignored by critics, but promises masterworks in the future.

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