Dead Ground



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Clutag Press
8 November 2018
ISBN: 9781999717865
256 pages

From the publisher

‘There may be dead ground in between’ goes the line in Henry Reed’s celebrated poem ‘Judging Distances’.  Dead ground in military terms is terrain into which you cannot see. Your enemy might be concealed there. You do not know.  We use the term metaphorically in a wide-ranging way. In our view war itself is dead ground, concealing victory and defeat from view, from those who instigate it and those who must engage in it.

The book’s perspective is essentially British and Irish, looking at patriotism, war-making, imperialism and colonialism, regime change and nation-building, past and present. There are also accounts of life on the home front, and glances at totalitarianism in both the Soviet and post-Soviet eras.  Ground and place and landscape are key subjects too, as are Nature, human belonging and sensibility.

There are thirty contributions by celebrated war correspondents, photo-journalists, former soldiers, a former Foreign Office representative, a major architect, memoirists, essayists, artists, brilliant critics and established poets. They are arranged in reversed chronological order, broadly from Armistice Day 2018 to 1918, from Afghanistan to ‘Flanders Fields’, from the poppy as a cause of war to the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.