Books by Samuel Hynes

ON WAR AND WRITING by Samuel Hynes
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 1, 2018

"A penetrating collection of pieces on war and how art responds to it."
Reflections on the personal accounts of combatants in an exploration of the literary responses to the great wars of the 20th century. Read full book review >
THE UNSUBSTANTIAL AIR by Samuel Hynes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Intimate and memorable portraits of these idealistic, daredevil young men are contained in a marvelously fluid narrative."
A deeply empathetic account of the first gentlemen pilots feeling their ways in uncharted territory. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2003

"Comfortable as an old cardigan and more than simple nostalgia: a memoir in turns sagacious and poignant, the way it ought to be."
A recollection of the people, the sights, sounds, smells—the feel—of a boyhood in a harsh and splendid time in America. Read full book review >
THE SOLDIERS' TALE by Samuel Hynes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"A potent book with insights into human behavior under the severe stress of battle, which historians, politicians, and rear-echelon staff officers often ignore or misread."
Powerful meditations on the experience of modern war. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: June 1, 1991

"More suggestive than conclusive in its analysis of the validity of the myth, Hynes's account of the impact of a terrible war is still rich and satisfying. (Sixteen-page photo insert—not seen.)"
Continuing the ground-breaking work of Paul Fussell in The Great War and Modern Memory, Hynes (Flights of Passage, 1988, etc.; Literature/Princeton) looks into the origin and impact of the myth that came into being to explain the significance of WW I. That myth depicted an idyllic England shattered irrevocably by the onslaught of a cruel and unnecessary way, by a generation of brave and idealistic young men lost in trench warfare prolonged by stupid generals and unimaginative politicians, and by the subsequent rejection by the embittered survivors of the values of their society. Read full book review >
FLIGHTS OF PASSAGE by Samuel Hynes
Released: March 1, 1988

"Unsentimental, understated reminiscences that deliver a true record of the glorious, degrading, ludicrous, tedious, appalling, and other aberrant elements that constitute military manhood in time of war."
A detached, dead-honest memoir of WW II from a distinguished scholar who, though he survived scores of aerial combat missions against the Japanese, focuses on the Stateside experiences that attended his coming of age. Read full book review >
Released: May 20, 1977

"Such tunnel-vision keeps Hynes off-limits for the general reader, but it does nothing to diminish the vigor of his textual illuminations, the elegance of his prose, or the warmth with which he shares the paradox of these writers."
"How do you write an elegy for a political movement? How do you grieve for strangers?" Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1972

"But collectively they impart precisely that sense of fleeting discontinuity which Hynes claims for the age."
Hynes (The Edwardian Turn of Mind, 1968) has here gathered his more incidental writings on the intellectual vagaries of that cultural interregnum which began in 1900 with the death of Queen Victoria and ended abruptly in August, 1914. Read full book review >