The Backwash Of War: The Human Wreckage Of The Battlefield As Witnessed By An A…

Read by David Wales

(4.7 stars; 9 reviews)

Ellen Newbold La Motte (1873–1961) was an American nurse, journalist and author. … and in 1915 volunteered as one of the first American war nurses to go to Europe and treat soldiers in World War I. In Belgium she served in a French field hospital, keeping a bitter diary detailing the horrors that she witnessed daily. “I am a professor of American studies and recently spent several years researching the life of Ellen N. La Motte, a long-forgotten nurse and public health crusader. In particular, I focused on her war writing. Soon after World War I began, she volunteered as a nurse in a French field hospital; later she published an explosive book of stories, “The Backwash of War,” about the experience. I spent endless hours immersed in those deeply unsettling and darkly humorous tales of wounded and sick hospitalized soldiers…. Cynthia Wachtell is a research associate professor of American studies at Yeshiva University…” (New York Times 22 May 2020) (2 hr 38 min)


Introduction 2:39 Read by David Wales
Heroes 11:36 Read by David Wales
La Patrei Reconnaissante 16:32 Read by David Wales
The Hole In The Hedge 11:31 Read by David Wales
Alone 11:04 Read by David Wales
A Belgian Civilian 11:00 Read by David Wales
The Interval 16:49 Read by David Wales
Women And Wives 17:11 Read by David Wales
Pour La Patrie 11:40 Read by David Wales
Locomotor Ataxia 11:58 Read by David Wales
A Surgical Triumph 13:19 Read by David Wales
At The Telephone 5:14 Read by David Wales
A Citation 11:54 Read by David Wales
An Incident 6:24 Read by David Wales


(5 stars)

This work is spectacular not only in its narrator’s clear depiction of ungodly suffering, but also in her use of selected cases which elegantly portray the shameful inequities of resources in THE LIVES, not just the deaths, of these human sacrifices to aggression. The author follows the various ways in which indifference grows, or is cultivated, by the military machine, after the machine of society has relegated humans to a destiny as “human flotsam”. This writer should be better known, and HER WORK SHOULD BE MORE WIDELY READ in universities and especially in officer training schools such as Annapolis (Navy) and West Point (Army). The reading is clear, articulated with care, and tends to become wooden. But bless Mr.David Wales for taking the time and effort to read this aloud for Librivox so we, the masses, can hear it. Your work is powerful, and I am so proud of each soul who takes time from their numbered days to leave the world richer for their having been in it. This extends to all readers, even those who are not ideal candidates for the material they read. ALL of you are making the world better in some way when you commit to this reading and recording of audiobooks. This autistic person is immensely honored to have a chance to write this review for this book. What treasures you all have laid out in the cornucopia of human endeavors for our minds and spirits to feast upon and knit into our frames from this day forward. I thank you.