A Soldier on the Southern Front

A Soldier on the Southern Front

The Classic Italian Memoir of World War I

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A rediscovered Italian masterpiece chronicling the author's experience as an infantryman, newly translated and reissued to commemorate the centennial of World War I. Taking its place alongside works by Ernst JŸnger, Robert Graves, and Erich Maria Remarque, Emilio Lussu's memoir is one of the most affecting accounts to come out of the First World War. A classic in Italy but virtually unknown in the English-speaking world, it reveals, in spare and detached prose, the almost farcical side of the war as seen by a Sardinian officer fighting the Austrian army on the Asiago plateau in northeastern Italy, the Alpine front so poignantly evoked by Ernest Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms. For Lussu, June 1916 to July 1917 was a year of continuous assaults on impregnable trenches, absurd missions concocted by commanders full of patriotic rhetoric and vanity but lacking in tactical skill, and episodes often tragic and sometimes grotesque, where the incompetence of his own side was as dangerous as the attacks waged by the enemy. A rare firsthand account of the Italian front, Lussu's memoir succeeds in staging a fierce indictment of the futility of war in a dry, often ironic style that sets his tale wholly apart from the Western Front of Remarque and adds an astonishingly modern voice to the literature of the Great War.
Publisher: New York, NY : Rizzoli Ex Libris, an imprint of Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2014.
ISBN: 9780847842780
Characteristics: x, 278 pages ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Conti, Gregory 1952-,- Translator


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 01, 2018

Lussu was a Sardinian patriot of the Left, so his sympathies are entirely with the men who do the fighting, from educated men like himself, who are made noncoms first and advance as to lieutenant and captain as the casualties mount. He wrote deliberately simply and eschews interpreting the war in favor of depicting human relationships among his strata of soldiers, first, and then among such officers and the grunts. His literary choices assure that his book is one of the most approachable documents of the Great War on the ground. If, like me, you're engaged in reading the literature--poetry, novels, plays, memoirs--of World War I, be advised that Soldier on the Southern Front is one of the best. It's sole drawback is the poor proofreading job done on the last third or so of this edition, but that's not crippling, only irritating.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at YPRL

To Top