"This is one of several volumes in which Siegfried Sassoon, under the name of 'George Sherston', has written one of the most absorbing chronicles of his generation. Although he is the central figure of the narative, this book - like its companions, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer and Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man - is no mere autobiography but a commentary on the epoch to which his most significant experiences belong.
In this first book of the series - whic is complete in itself - Sassoon develops the story of the young infantry officer who, after winning the M.C. in 1917, undergoes a revulsion from the whole buiness oof war and makes a personal manifesto against its continuance.
For this act of courageous defiance he is deemed to be a victim of shell-shock and is despatched to what would nowadays be called a psychiatric hospital. Here, under the influence of the famous pioneer Dr. Rivers, Sherston comes to terms with himself and finally returns to combatant service on the Western Front.
Although the background of Sherston's Progess is the First World War, the book is a study of the development of a man's character under the influence of convulsive forces - and in that sense it is as relevant as when it first appeared in 1936.
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