How War Has Shaped The Lives of Our Ancestors

As many of you know, another school year has started for me – which means less time for genealogy and family history activities.  This semester I am taking a really cool class called “War & The Human Experience”.  When I registered for the class, I was worried that it was going to be incredibly depressing and boring class with an old professor that has a monotone voice that seems to go on and on and on and on…

Luckily for me, this has turned out to be an incredibly interesting and fascinating class.  My professor is passionate, vibrant, and a total history geek.  The class analyzes how the attitudes of war has changed over the centuries and in turn, how that attitude is shown in art and literature.   Best part?  Instead of buying an overpriced textbook, we just have to buy 4 novels that were all under $10 (used).

This class has helped me understand how war has changed, not only through the advancement of weapons, but how war went from some the two sides getting in straight lines to war becoming “total war” where entire cities and countries were bombed.  It is also fascinating to watch how war has influenced art & literature.  Prior to World War I, art and literature depicted war as an exaggerated honorable and “glamorized” event.  For example, the art might depict everyone in uniforms and riding white horses – when in fact, most of the fighters were wearing whatever they owned and very few had horses, especially white horses.  World War I brought about literature and art that depicted a more somber, frightening, and truthful side of war (just read All Quiet on the Western Front).

Over the next few weeks, get ready to hear more about how war has shaped our ancestors – and I hope you find it to be as interesting as I do.

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8 Responses to How War Has Shaped The Lives of Our Ancestors

  1. Good for you. This should be a really great learning experience – and, it will inform your genealogy research of ancestors during war times! ;-)

  2. Wow! That sounds like a great class.
    Debbie´s last blog post ..This Is The Face of Genealogy

  3. I’m so excited for you! What a fascinating opportunity. I took a history course (The Future as History) where we read novels like 1984 and Brave New World then compared the author’s vision with actual results. I worked harder than in any other class I ever took, but I learned not only history, but how to analyze the research. It was the best learning experience I had in any school.

    If you’re interested there’s a community of military bloggers (milblogs) that is just as active as the genea-blogging community. A good place to start is Mudville Gazette.
    Denise Olson´s last blog post ..At the Corner of Paper and Digital

  4. Sounds like a great class!! So what are the 4 novels you are reading? I’m a sucker for (buying) more books :-)
    Diana Ritchie´s last blog post ..Day 0 at FGS2011

  5. History’s always fascinating. Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned from your class. It really sounds like a cool class.
    Sheila´s last blog post ..CNA Certification

  6. Sounds like a very interesting class. Like Diana I’d love to know the names of the novels.

  7. On one of this season’s WDYTYA (UK Version) they talked a lot about how soldiers signing up for WWI thought it was all glamorous and everyone threw parties for them. When war finally came, a lot of them went AWOL since war was nothing like what they were told. It’s very interesting.
    Brian Zalewski´s last blog post ..The Tech-Savvy Genealogist

  8. That does sound like a great class. All I remember from history classes is having to memorize names, places and dates of all the battles. Very boring, and I don’t remember any of them now.
    Shasta´s last blog post ..Simply Squares

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