Millions were killed and maimed in the senseless brutality of the First World War, but once the armistice was signed the realities were cleansed of their horror by the nature of the burial and commemoration of the dead. In the interwar period, war monuments and cemeteries provided the public with places of worship and martyrs for the civic religion of nationalism. The cult of the fallen soldier blossomed in Germany and other European countries, and people seemed to build war into their lives as a necessary and glorious event - a proof of manhood and loyalty to the flag. Ultimately there was even a process of trivialization, with light comedies, war toys, and battlefield tourism becoming popular. Tracing wartime experience from the Napoleonic Wars to Vietnam, Professor Mosse's chilling study explores why mankind has drawn the sting of death from modern war and transformed it into an acceptable, even sacred, event.