Eric Maria Remarque was a German soldier in World War One, called the Great War at the time. He lived through the fighting and the misery of months in the trenches through mud, disease, rats, and lice.
War has been romanticized and stylized even by those who fought. At times brave men considered it a test of their character to stand face to face with an enemy with only sword, lance, or rifle.
If war ever had any honor in it, it died in the trenches in France in World War One. To the generals of France, Great Britain, or Germany, soldiers were cardboard commodities that were easily replaced. Obedience was demanded without question.
All Quiet on the Western Front was a revelation. It sold millions worldwide. It affected many who vowed, never again. There was no honor to be found in this type of war, determined by and conducted by the selfish and self serving.
The drums of war called again in the 1930s and Remarque was no longer welcome in his own country.
And they will call again. And when you here the beat and the shrill trumpets exclaim that we must fight and we must kill and we must treat our fellow man in the exact opposite manner than we have been taught since we drew our first breath on planet Earth, then go to the library or the bookstore and pick up a copy of this book.