Men at War by Ernest Hemingway – Book Review

Ernest Hemingway’s edited title Men at War is a mammoth collection of short stories and novellas that explore the theme of war and its effects on the individuals who go through it. The short stories and novellas in this collection are from ancient times until this collection appeared. Hemingway wrote the stories (featured in the collection) during and after World War II and relied on his personal experiences as a war correspondent and combatant during that conflict. One can assume to find authenticity, realism, and details in these literary outputs. Other prominent authors included in this collection are William Faulkner, Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill, Leo Tolstoy, and T. E. Lawrence.

There are many stories in this collection that have become immortal now! However, a few have left an imposing impression on readers of different generations. One such story is The Old Man and the Sea, which tells the tale of an ageing Cuban fisherman, Santiago. Santiago embarks on an epic struggle to catch a giant marlin. He goes through many challenges and setbacks on the mission. However, Santiago remains determined and resilient. And he eventually succeeds in his quest but at a great cost to himself. Because of the many qualities exhibited, this story is one of Ernest Hemingway’s finest works. The author won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 for this story.

Another notable story from the Men at War collection is For Whom the Bell Tolls. This one takes the readers during the Spanish Civil War and tells the story of an American volunteer named Robert Jordan. Jordan is fighting with the Republican forces against the fascist Nationalists. Speaking of him, Jordan is a complex and deeply human character, and the story explores the themes of love, loyalty, and sacrifice in the face of war. For Whom the Bell Tolls was also a critical and commercial success, and it (arguably) cemented Hemingway’s reputation as one of the greatest writers of his generation.

Other stories in Men at War include The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. This short story is about a wealthy American couple on a hunting safari in Africa. Another one, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, follows a writer struggling with his mortality as he reflects on his life and career. The latter depicts psychological themes and draws inspiration from the author’s personal experiences.

To conclude, Men at War is a powerful and poignant collection of stories that captures the complexity and humanity of the individuals who experience war. Hemingway’s writing is evocative and emotionally resonant, and he masterfully explores the themes of courage, resilience, and the human cost of conflict. Other authors have exhibited the complexity of emotions and thoughts that arise in human beings involved in a war.

Readers who take an interest in reading war stories may find the book exciting. Also, those readers who find the complexity of humans enticing will find this collection of literary works worth reading. You can get a copy of the latest edition from various online stores. To buy it from Amazon India, you can click below:

Get a copy from Amazon India – click here.

Review by Alka for Intellectual Reader book review website

Men at War by Ernest Hemingway – Book Review
  • Intellectual Reader's Rating


Men at War by Ernest Hemingway is one of the finest collections of war stories and novellas of all time!

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