Throughout history, men have gone to war believing that soldiering and manhood were intimately connected. This expectation, at times perhaps a fulfillment, has been expressed in literary accounts since the Iliad. "Served This Soldiering Through" examines the complex connections between language, masculinity, and the moral lives of men. The book features some of the most acclaimed fiction of the soldier''s experience in World War II by novelists who had themselves served in the conflict. Works by Americans James Jones and Kurt Vonnegut and Englishman Evelyn Waugh are discussed extensively. The persistent, historically evolving idea that experience of war can be proof or confirmation of virtuous manhood is traced to its Homeric roots (using the models of Achilles, Agamemnon, and Ulysses as distinct version of the soldier-male), and revealed in all of its continuing allure and hazard.