When I used to live in Philadelphia, I would sometimes see Paul Fussell in Center City or 30th Street Station. Well, at least I think that I saw him from time to time. I'd seen his photo on his books, but I was never sure that the man I saw was Fussell himself. I was always tempted to walk up to this man and ask him whether or not he was Paul-Fussell-the-author-whose-books-I-admire-so-much. I never did, though, since I figured that I would just embarrass both of us.
Fussell's book The Great War and Modern Memory, which is now available in a 25th-anniversary edition, is one of the best books written by an academic, if you ask me. It sparked my interest in WWI poetry, especially that of Siegfried Sassoon. Fussell's Wartime led me to read E. B. Sledge's With the Old Breed, one of the great autobiographies to come out of WWII. Anyone looking for a good introduction to Fussell's writing might want to begin with Thank God for the Atom Bomb and Other Essays, which, unfortunately, seems to be out of print at the moment.