So many books (you know the rest)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
by Earnest Hemmingway
Published in 1939 (I finished it on July 15, 2004)
Taking place during the Spanish Civil War, it is a powerful story of a few individuals who regard their own lives as nothing in order to better the good of the country. The time passage is only about four days, but so much is said in that period. Anyone thinking war is a good thing should walk alongside Robert Jordon and observe how every life is important — even when the killing is necessary. The messages aren’t in your face, but they’re very clear through the dialogue and actions the men and women take in the novel.