By: John Dos Passos (1896-1970)
Three Soldiers, the second novel by John Dos Passos, follows the experiences of several young Americans thrown into the confusion and brutality of World War I.
Written when the author was just twenty-three, it was key to the development of a realistic depiction of war in American literature, and earned Dos Passos, later named by Jean-Paul Sartre "the greatest living writer of our time", important early attention.
Critic H L Menken said of it: "no war story can be written in the United States without challenging comparison with it--and no story that is less meticulously true will stand up to it. It changed the whole tone of American opinion about the war; it even changed the recollections of actual veterans of the war. They saw, no doubt, substantially what Dos Passos saw, but it took his bold realism to disentangle their recollections from the prevailing buncombe and sentimentality".