Amid the Ruins
World War I Reports from the American Trenches and Occupied Europe, October 1918–March 1919, with a Selection of His Wartime Poetry
by Alan D. Gaff and Donald H. Gaff
Pub Date 28 Oct 2019
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Despite Damon Runyon’s iconic status as a fiction writer and reporter, one particular chapter of his extraordinary career has been completely overlooked. During World War I he was an accredited war correspondent—writing a series of dispatches from Europe, he followed the American Doughboys through France, into Germany, and back home. This period marked a monumental transition not only in America’s view of itself and its role in the world, but of Runyon’s own style and how we could come to portray America. Along with his collected dispatches, this volume also includes his wartime poetry. Biographical and literary introductions and exhaustive notes provide additional information about the people, places, and events that made up his writing. A vital bridge from his earlier regional writing to his later Broadway works, these stories of civilians thrust into military uniforms provide a rare behind-the-scenes look at World War I and the formation of Runyonesque style itself.