From my list on brotherhood in war – and sports.
Who am I?
I played rugby union for Durham University and at Rosslyn Park FC in London. Then I became a reporter and editor, for Rugby News magazine and on Fleet Street sports desks. In March 2002, six months after 9/11 and a year before the invasion of Iraq, my Park team played against the cadets of the United States Military Academy. Years later, settled in New York, I decided to find out what happened to those West Point rugby players in the 9/11 wars, and what their experiences might tell us about sports, war, brotherhood, loss, and remembrance.
Martin's book list on brotherhood in war – and sports
Why did Martin love this book?
Pat Barker’s prize-winning 1991 novel is a devastating portrait of the horrors of the trenches of World War One but also a meditation on why men fight, how they suffer and recover, how they live for the men they fight with.
I came to Regeneration young, and to the poems of Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, and Siegfried Sassoon, all of whom appear in Barker’s novel. Sassoon’s declaration against the war is well known, as is his decision to return to it, to be with his men. Owen was killed in action.
There is also a character Barker creates: Billy Prior, a working-class figure John Mullan called “an interloper, angrily observing the snobbery and smugness of the officer class”. Regeneration shows fiction can complement reportage when considering how brotherhood works.