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Book chat probes personal impact of global conflict


Zimmerman leads the discussion of Barry's acclaimed book ...
Zimmerman leads the discussion of Barry’s acclaimed book …
... which he said lends "a human face to what occurred in Ireland in World War I."
… which he said lends “a human face to what occurred in Ireland in World War I.”
Chappo, assistant professor of history/history of technology, listens to a guest's observation.
Chappo, assistant professor of history/history of technology, listens to a guest’s observation.

A book club intimately convened Monday night in Madigan Library’s second-floor reading loft, where Tom Zimmerman, associate professor of psychology, led a review of Sebastian Barry’s “A Long Long Way.” Community members and college employees (active and retired) attended the collaborative exploration of the World War I novel, which heralds the next event in Penn College’s Technology and Society Colloquia Series. Summing up the evening, Zimmerman said: “We spent a full two hours discussing a range of topics both within and contextually related to Barry’s novel, including character development, poetic prose, the introduction of barbed wire and mustard gas in warfare (and the horrors both produced), conscription versus persuasive recruitment messaging, contributing economic and religious dynamics in Western Europe during the era, a reluctant W. B. Yeats who resisted composing a WWI poem in 1915 but penned a masterpiece in 1916 immortalizing the leaders of the Irish Rising, and, most importantly, the journey of the main character Willie Dunne as he and Ireland lose their innocence.” Several groups of students – including John F. Chappo’s Technology & Society (HIS262) and American History (HIS136) classes – were assigned the book this semester.

Comments

John Chappo,

Many thanks to all who helped make this happen, and special thanks to Tom Zimmerman for the excellent job facilitating what turned out to be a most thoughtful and engaging discussion!

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