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War Dead Western Societies and the Casualties of War

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ISBN-10: 0748622985

ISBN-13: 9780748622986

Edition: 2006

Authors: Luc Capdevila, Daniele Voldman, Richard Veasey

List price: $47.95
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How do societies handle their war dead, and what is their attitude to the bodies of their enemies? In the 19th century, battlefield casualties were pushed into mass graves, their identities remaining unknown. Today, the war dead are held in much higher regard, their identities crucial. A historical study of the way in which war and death intersect, War Deaddescribes the complex attitude societies have taken towards death. Seduced by the concept of eternal youth, tempted to fight death as well as physical decay, and faced with longer life expectancy, we indulge in the hope of war without loss of life, but doesn't our expectation of "zero death" mean more deaths for the enemy?
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Book details

List price: $47.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 7/24/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

Luc Capdevila is a Lecturer in Contemporary History at the University of Rennes. He is co-author of Hommes et femmes dans la France en guerre as well as author of many articles on war and culture.

War dead
Death in combat
Helping the wounded; collecting up bodies
From hero to victim
Images of battles
Identifying the dead to mourn them properly?
Identity discs
Recognising civilians as well
Counting the dead
Armies and states faced with their dead
The actions of the authorities
Responding to the expectations of families
Every dead man has a face
'Vast cemeteries beneath the moon'
What should be done with enemy corpses?
The way international law evolved
Practices ranging from respect to transgression
Using enemy bodies as a weapon
Killing the dead
Destroying the living through the dead
Ways of bidding farewell
Traditions which are difficult to keep
Towards the invention of new rituals
Impossible cremations
The religious dimension
Public funerals, official ceremonies
Ritualised mourning in acts of commemoration
From temporary war graves to national cemeteries
Associations for the remembrance of the dead
Creating a commemorative environment
Towards private forms of ritual
Epilogue: The presence of dead bodies