Recommended World War I book

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shawcroft
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Recommended World War I book

Post by shawcroft » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:23 pm

This summer marks the anniversary of the start of the First World War. I've read several recent articles which have commented on the aftermath of the War and its ongoing impact into this century, particularly the end of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of new nations in the Middle East.
Have any of my colleagues a suggestion about a book to read regarding the First World War and its aftermath? While I would prefer one which is fairly succinct, I am willing to go big time :shock: if the one recommended is deemed to be the "classic work" on the subject
Thanks,
Shawcroft

gamboolman
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by gamboolman » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:12 pm

These are all good

All Quiet on the Western Front
Johnny Got His Gun
A Rifleman Went To War

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by gkaplan » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:17 pm

Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August
Gordon

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Alex Frakt » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:52 pm

Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front is probably the canonical work of WWI fiction. However, for some reason I never got around to reading it, so I can't personally vouch for it. However, I can recommend the following:

- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
- Mark Helprin, A Soldier of the Great War - this is in my personal list of the Great Books, here's the original New York TImes review of this book - http://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/05/books ... emory.html
- the poetry of Wilfrid Owen - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilfred_Owen - including
Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


[[How] sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country.]

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by denismurf » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:43 am

I second the recommendation of A Soldier of the Great War as an account of the perspective of participants. Another perspective, of Russian officers at the outset of the war, is given in great (fictionlalized) detail in Solzhenitsyn's August 1914. And then there's a really bitter satire in the novel The Good Soldier Schweik by Jaroslav Hasek, a Czech.

For a detailed account of one battle, from all viewpoints. many people recommend The Price of Glory, by Alistair Horne, about the battle of Verdun. I have not read this last one yet, but have read all the others in my first paragraph.

I've read several long accounts of the war as a whole, complete with maps, but none stands out.

If you do read enough to be familiar with all the strategies and military and political leaders, check out Paul Johnson's critique of America's role in his book, Modern Times.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:09 am

http://www.amazon.com/Peace-End-All-Ott ... icot+sykes

http://www.amazon.com/Line-Sand-Anglo-F ... icot+sykes

These cover the Picot Sykes agreement and the creation of Jordan Iraq Syria Lebanon Palestine-- which haunts us to this day. Remember that at this time, it was known there was oil in Iran, I am not sure about Basra in Iraq (would have to check) but the extent of oil resources in Saudi Arabia was only discovered in the 1940s. Oil was critical to British interests (BP was then the Anglo Iranian Oil Company) because just before WW1 the Royal Navy had begun conversion from coal to oil fired ships. It was held as a truth that nations had to use their empires to be self sufficient in food and raw materials-- one of the main reasons the Germans lost WW1 was precisely this vulnerability to Allied blockade of their trade.

The other critical British interest was the Suez Canal-- as the fast route from Britain to India and Singapore. Britain had an unusual dependence on foreign trade for its food and raw materials (by contrast the US was an oil exporter at that time) and so this emphasis on preserving the Imperial lines of communication was not some odd obsession, but critical to the Empire.

John Keegan's History of WW1 is a very good general, military history.

http://www.amazon.com/The-First-World-John-Keegan

Hew Strachan's book on WW1 is very good on the global context, particularly the Middle East. Doesn't get (literally) bogged down of the narrative of the Western Front, as so many WW1 books do.

http://www.amazon.com/The-First-World-War-Strachan

http://www.amazon.com/The-First-World-War-Complete
this is an absolutely fantastic documentary based on the book.

I would recommend the movie 'Lawrence of Arabia' for a fictionalized by excellent introduction to the whole issue of Picot Sykes and the Middle East. Peter O'Toole is excellent (even the more so in the recently released directors' cut) and the movie really gives you a vision of what it all must have been like.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by 3504PIR » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:02 am

Winston Groom, who wrote Forrest Gump wrote, "A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918."

He has a very easy, fluid, narrative style of writing and the book is first class. I've honestly found many WWI books to be brutally dry and tough to read. Like you I was interested in getting into the history (or trying again) due to the anniversary last month. Ypres is less written about in U.S. books and is very enlightening to study to learn the British perspective and the horrors beyond, or rather in addition to going over the top.

You will not be disappointed.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by jdb » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:48 am

Company K, first published in 1933, reissued in 1989 by University of Alabama press, is an almost unknown American version of All Quiet On The Western Front, written by a doughboy who was there (more specifically, a Marine who was awarded the Croix de Guerre, Distinguished Service Cross and Navy Cross), probably semi autobiographical, even more horrific in parts than All Quiet.
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Kenkat » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:58 am

Valuethinker wrote:John Keegan's History of WW1 is a very good general, military history.

http://www.amazon.com/The-First-World-John-Keegan

Hew Strachan's book on WW1 is very good on the global context, particularly the Middle East. Doesn't get (literally) bogged down of the narrative of the Western Front, as so many WW1 books do.

http://www.amazon.com/The-First-World-War-Strachan
The Keegan book is a good one if you want a blow by blow recap of the major battles, while the Strachan book does a fantastic job of explaining the political aspects of the war, which are often overlooked I think. It's the "why did this happen" to Keegan's "what happened".

Another favorite of mine is Fighting the Flying Circus by Eddie Rickenbacker:

http://www.richthofen.com/rickenbacker/

A first hand account of the air war on the Western Front from the American side. Did you know that if you pulled too quickly out of a dive in a Nieuport that you could pull the top wing right off the aircraft? (The Americans initially flew French Nieuports before switching to French SPADs as there were no viable US fighter aircraft in WWI)

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by BachemFan » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:05 am

For a recent book on the longer term consequences of the war, I recommend "The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century" by David Reynolds.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Velodon » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:27 am


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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by donocash » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:32 pm

I would like to recommend a book that I found extremely helpful in understanding the origins of the first world war:


The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, by Christopher Clark.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by DesertResister » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:46 pm

gkaplan wrote:Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August
This is an outstanding book.



If you are looking for a tome, I suggest "The Last Lion" by William Manchester. It's actually a trilogy covering the life of Winston Churchill, but the stories about Churchill in the as lord of the Admiralty are priceless. I can just see the the British Admirals, head of Britain's pride the Royal Navy, aghast when Churchill implied that there are no traditions to the Royal Navy

Actually it went like this. Churchill suggested a change and an admiral countered "But sir! What about the traditions of the Navy?" To which Churchill replied "Balderdash there are no traditions to the Navy beyond rum, sodomy, and the lash." :shock:

Anyway, the whole trilogy, covering his entire life, is full of great quotes like that but the history of WWI is also superb.

-resister
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Herekittykitty » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:40 pm

1. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Remarque was a German soldier during WWI. The book can be read in a few hours. It stays with you forever. Yet I read it again about every 5-10 years.

2. The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. I have read that President Kennedy thought highly of it, and that the history of rapid escalation of the world into WWI influenced the way he handled the Cuban missile crisis. Even if you don't want to read the whole book (it is pretty long), get it from the library and read the first 30 pages or so.
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:54 pm

I recently finished A World Undone by G. J. Meyer. I thought it an excellent one volume overview of WW I -- how it started and some of the consequences.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by sans souliers » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:20 pm

gkaplan wrote:Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August
She earned The Pulitzer Prize for this one. Started it this August for the centennial.
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by dcnut » Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:12 pm

If you enjoy mystery historical fiction, the books written by Charles Todd are great. There are two separate series, both involve World War I.

In the Inspector Ian Rutledge series, a former British officer (Ian Rutledge) returns home with a bad case of shell shock, but he recovers enough to return to his former job as a Scotland Yard inspector. He is constantly hearing the voice of his former sergeant, however, who he was forced to execute on the battlefield due to his refusal to lead a charge against the enemy.

In the Bess Crawford series, a British nurse who serves near the front lines helps solve various wartime mysteries.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Leeraar » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:10 pm

Sagittarius Rising, by Cecil Lewis.

http://books.google.com/books/about/Sag ... vrCcfbwhYC

L.
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Christine_NM » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:39 pm

Along with All Quiet and Guns of August, try E.E. Cummings' memoir The Enormous Room.
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by bertie wooster » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:04 am

I cannot recommend two books by Robert Massie enough:

Dreadnought - this is a recap of the british-german naval arms race as a major contributor to ww1

Castles of Steel - this is a summary of every british-german naval engagement of the war

Castles of Steel is one of the best books I've ever read. Based on my summary above it sounds like it would be pretty boring - but Massie is such a talented writer that the book is so gripping you will not be able to put it down. He is a master. Great books.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Leeraar » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:16 am

bertie wooster wrote:I cannot recommend two books by Robert Massie enough:

Dreadnought - this is a recap of the british-german naval arms race as a major contributor to ww1

Castles of Steel - this is a summary of every british-german naval engagement of the war

Castles of Steel is one of the best books I've ever read. Based on my summary above it sounds like it would be pretty boring - but Massie is such a talented writer that the book is so gripping you will not be able to put it down. He is a master. Great books.
Have ordered both of these.

Thank you,

L.
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:43 am

Either the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal just reviewed a new book which comprised stories of various everymen on all sides of the conflict but I cannot find the article or remember the name. If anyone recalls it I'd be obliged.

I've enjoyed several books by John Keegan and Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August. Haven't read any others but apparently there are more than 25,000 books on the War so there should be no shortage of options.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by DesertResister » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:23 am

Forgive me, I actually read the entirety of your post and you want something about the Mid East/Collapse of the Ottomans. The book for you then is "A Peace to End All Peace." It talks about how the decisions at the conclusion of the Great War set us up for a century of conflict.

-resister
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by upperleftcoast » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:05 am

Guns of August / Tuchman followed by:
Dreadnaught / Robert Massie
The First World War / Martin Gilbert
Some Desperate Glory / Edwin Campion Vaughan
Goodbye To All That / Robert Graves
The Beauty and the Sorrow / Peter Englund
A Long Long Way / Sebastian Barry (fiction)
Great War and Modern Memory / Paul Fussell
Paris 1919 / Margaret MacMillen

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by obgraham » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:09 am

Keegan's is the classic WWI narrative.

Alan Palmer's Victory 1918 is an excellent book. Rather than rehashing the Western Front horrors, he spends time on the relevance of the Balkan fronts, and the lack of cooperation among the military and civilian leadership of the allies.

Then he discusses the role of American entry in 1917, and how that dictated what happened afterwards. Wilson's inability to see his proposals through were a major reason the peace eventually failed twenty years later.

It's a cheap book at Kindle store.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:22 am

DesertResister wrote:
gkaplan wrote:Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August
This is an outstanding book.



If you are looking for a tome, I suggest "The Last Lion" by William Manchester. It's actually a trilogy covering the life of Winston Churchill, but the stories about Churchill in the as lord of the Admiralty are priceless. I can just see the the British Admirals, head of Britain's pride the Royal Navy, aghast when Churchill implied that there are no traditions to the Royal Navy

Actually it went like this. Churchill suggested a change and an admiral countered "But sir! What about the traditions of the Navy?" To which Churchill replied "Balderdash there are no traditions to the Navy beyond rum, sodomy, and the lash." :shock:

Anyway, the whole trilogy, covering his entire life, is full of great quotes like that but the history of WWI is also superb.

-resister
This is OK but Manchester lionizes Churchill. Hagiography. Manchester is an excellent writer, but his view of Churchill seems too one-sided.

A lot of modern history, partly based on newly declassified documents, is about reevaluating Winston Churchill. Superman he most assuredly was not.

Political opportunist. Chancer. Military irrationalist (Greece - the failed intervention and then the loss of 20k+ British troops in a quixotic Aegean front in 1943-44). Bully. Even his choice of scientific adviser was suspect (Solly Zuckerman and his floating aerial mines). Wrong before WW1. Wrong during WW1. Wrong about the Pound in 1924 when he was Chancellor. Wrong about Ireland. Wrong about India. Wrong about Singapore during the War. Wrong about Norway. Wrong about sending more fighters into the Fall of France (Air Marshall Dowding refused). Wrong about the 'Mediterranean Strategy' that drove Marshall and the Americans nuts. Wrong about the attack on Oran (that one, collective responsibility for the war cabinet) which has alienated Franco-British relations ever since. Wrong about carving up Europe with Stalin by percentages. Disastrous in his peacetime role as Prime Minister-- he held onto power, delaying the Queen's Coronation by a year to do it. Left Eden coming to power too late, and into the disastrous invasion of Suez.

Had Edward VIII remained on the throne, as Churchill schemed to ensure, then it's quite possible the peace faction would have taken the Prime Ministership and sued for peace in 1940. Edward VIII was a Nazi sympathizer. Instead he abdicated, precisely the outcome Churchill had fought to avoid, and George VI became King. The stammering young man became the King that we would need, in our darkest hour.

(If you ever saw John Boorman's 'Hope and Glory' a masterful film about his time as a child in suburban London during the Blitz, there's a scene where they are listening to the King's Christmas speech on the wireless, and cheering when he gets through it without a stutter. The audience laughs, but people who were there at the time told me they found that moment an extremely moving one. It was one of those things, that everyone had a part to play, and the King's was to get through his speech without a stammer. When George visited troops and airmen, they adored him.)

We are fortunate that the War Cabinet system meant many of Winston's crazier ideas never got adopted. If you contrast that to FDR, who left the prosecution of the war to the capable hands of General Marshall, you see by contrast an inveterate meddler. Very like Adolph Hitler in his enthusiasms and his focus on (sometimes irrelevant) details. He just operated in a system where he never had the only say.

You also have to wonder whether the Commandos or the SOE (set Europe Ablaze!) were really worth the resources spent on them. Certainly the war record of the SOE doesn't sustain that.

In clinging to the British Empire he alienated the Americans, and FDR in particular, and that helped Stalin to run rings around him at Yalta.

What you can say for Winston was that in 1940 we needed a demagogue, with a capacity for inspiring the ordinary man on the street. Although anyone from the East End of London remembers Churchill turning the firehoses on the ordinary striker in peacetime, he was in 1940 that symbol of total resistance. Of defiance. Of personal courage. The man who could say of a threatened German invasion 'take one with you' and be taken to mean it.

And perhaps more importantly, his presence sent a signal to the Anglophile east coast elite that ran the USA that Britain would stay in the war. Would hold on until it became the 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' for the American reconquest of Europe. Half a dozen key speeches, plus his constant focus on wooing the American public and political elite, plus his willingness to just give away Britain's scientific and technological expertise (including important early work on the atomic bomb, but also penicillin, radar etc.) without charge to US industry-- these things were essential to Allied victory. The Russians would have reached the Engish Channel without them being in the hands of American industry. (a fan of HG Wells, Churchill was something of a technological visionary: that led him to fund lots of ludicrous weapons and schemes, but also to realize the central importance of technology in winning the war-- again one has to give him credit for that).

Churchill had one real strategy in WW2, and that was to hold on, spend everything we had both in terms of financial but also technological capital, and persuade the Americans to join us. FDR was paralyzed by Isolationist sentiment in Congress, until the Japanese provided the very handy causus belli. On the morning of December 7th 1941, although the road ahead would be long, hard and bloody, there was never any doubt that the combined resources of the British and America Empires, plus the Soviet Union, would prevail.

Churchill had staked everything on a gamble, a gamble that that would happen, that the US would find a reason to enter the Second World War before Britain, bankrupt and isolated by submarine warfare, would have to sue for terms. And on that morning, the gamble had come good.

There's am HBO mini series about Churchill 'The Gathering Storm' which is well worth watching. Timothy West I think is Churchill. It's very good-- catches the essence of the man and his tempestuous relationship with his wife.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by JMacDonald » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:34 pm

"To End All Wars" is a good book. Here is a review; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/books ... d=all&_r=0
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Dave_M » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:40 pm

Since this is a Finance/Investment site, and since the OP asked about the aftermath, let me recommend "The Economic Consequences of the Peace", by John Maynard Keynes.

http://www.amazon.com/ECONOMIC-CONSEQUE ... hn+maynard

Keynes was a key participant in the treaty/reparations negotiations, until he resigned and wrote this book. In addition to his calculations of the costs incurred by all parties, and the folly of trying to force Germany to repay all of these amounts, he also gives some interesting observations about the people involved - for instance, he was convinced that Wilson was already very ill, maybe having suffered an initial stroke. As a result, he felt no one was able to counter the desire for vengeance sought by the Europeans.

Anyway, I found it very interesting, and as we now know, very prescient in his predictions of the inevitable German response.

Dave

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Recommended World War I book(s)

Post by shawcroft » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:41 pm

To all my colleagues:
My thanks for the excellent suggestions so many of you have provided. Ever the Boglehead, I have already borrowed two of the recommended books from our town library. I have at least 6 more I will peruse over the next several weeks (unless "honey-do" projects" impede my progress)
Shawcroft

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Re: Recommended World War I book(s)

Post by island » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:14 pm

shawcroft wrote:To all my colleagues:
My thanks for the excellent suggestions so many of you have provided. Ever the Boglehead, I have already borrowed two of the recommended books from our town library. I have at least 6 more I will peruse over the next several weeks (unless "honey-do" projects" impede my progress)
Shawcroft
Shawcroft -Great topic! Thanks for posting and also thanks to the Bogleheads for their suggestions.
So many of the books on WWI focus on how it started and cover the various battles, but I too have been interested in learning more about the consequences, particularly with regard to redrawing the map of the Middle East.
Which books are you starting with?

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by galectin » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:48 pm

If you want to read a novel based on the experiences of one who was in the trenches in WWI, I recommend The Middle Parts of Fortune by Fredric Manning. It is excellent. This was reissued this year as a Vintage Classics book.

Also, the novel Parades End, a tetralogy by Ford Madox Ford has a number of scenes in the second and third books based on his experiences in the trenches. It also, is excellent, although the fourth book, The Last Post, is somewhat anticlimatic and critics have argued if it is good or bad. Parade's End is, in my opinion, not about the war, but about the end of the Edwardian Age. It was also a BBC miniseries recently, and also in 1964, with Judy Dench.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by fposte » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:06 pm

Several of my favorites--Robert Graves, Barbara Tuchmann, Paul Fussell--have already been mentioned, but I'll also suggest Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by bertie wooster » Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:27 am

Valuethinker - thanks for your post! It was very interesting and informative and I appreciate your opinion.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by jon-nyc » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:17 am

DesertResister wrote:
gkaplan wrote:Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August
This is an outstanding book.

I think that particular book of hers is horribly overrated.

Even the abridged version of Churchill's WWI memoir offers a far superior treatment of the events leading up to the war.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by jon-nyc » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:26 am

In terms of the war's aftermath, I think there is no greater work than Paris 1919: Six months that changed the world by Margaret Macmillan. (She happens to be the great granddaughter of Lloyd George, FWIW).

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Velodon » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:09 am

"Lawrence in Arabia" by Scott Andersen

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:51 am

letsgobobby wrote:Either the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal just reviewed a new book which comprised stories of various everymen on all sides of the conflict but I cannot find the article or remember the name. If anyone recalls it I'd be obliged.

I've enjoyed several books by John Keegan and Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August. Haven't read any others but apparently there are more than 25,000 books on the War so there should be no shortage of options.
Found it, the Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund. On my kindle.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:38 am

jon-nyc wrote:
DesertResister wrote:
gkaplan wrote:Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August
This is an outstanding book.

I think that particular book of hers is horribly overrated.

Even the abridged version of Churchill's WWI memoir offers a far superior treatment of the events leading up to the war.
My understanding is that modern historiography generally rejects Tuchman's thesis that WW1 started wholly by mistake. Rather each power knew exactly what it was doing it was a failure of the imagination as to the collective results (the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Turkish Empires all obliterated, 30 millions dead, Europe left devastated into a 25 year nightmare of extremist politics and another even bloodier war, etc.).

However it is conceded that Tuchman wrote very well.

Her real impact may have been on John F Kennedy. The book was a bestseller when it came out and JFK referred to it, and may have read it. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he was acutely aware of the possibility of a war between major powers starting by mistake eg the shooting down of that U2 over Cuba, or the US testing a ballistic missile during the Crisis (nobody bothered to consider whether the schedule should be altered for testing). That awareness helped shape his cautious conduct during the Crisis.

That powerful image of nations walking blindly into war still haunts us. In particular when Pakistan-based guerillas attacked the Indian Parliament (which, due to a power failure, happened not to be in the building). 2 nuclear armed nations who have already fought 3 wars.

So maybe history is being put to other uses. That archetype of politicians walking blindly into disaster in 'retribution' for 'crimes'. In an age of ever greater terrorist attacks, that 'lesson' of Sarajevo is probably worth keeping in mind.

letsgobobby
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by letsgobobby » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:38 am

letsgobobby wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:Either the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal just reviewed a new book which comprised stories of various everymen on all sides of the conflict but I cannot find the article or remember the name. If anyone recalls it I'd be obliged.

I've enjoyed several books by John Keegan and Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August. Haven't read any others but apparently there are more than 25,000 books on the War so there should be no shortage of options.
Found it, the Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund. On my kindle.
I have now read this book. It is phenomenal. The best war book I have ever read. It is so personal. It is very human. It is tough to put down and just as tough to read, in parts. The scale of the tragedy was unimaginable. I highly recommend this book.

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max12377
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by max12377 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:08 am

Not a book, but I found the Khan Academy videos on WW1 fun and interesting. For me personally, at times, some history books can get too detailed and you can lose the forest for the trees. These vids moved along and covered the major points. So I suppose as a starting point for someone these are a great option.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by fishingmn » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:44 am

Okay - this is not a book. But If you ever listen to podcasts I highly recommend one called Hardcore History by Dan Carlin.

His most recent series was a 6 part podcast on WW1. Each episode is 2-4 hours long and is very in depth and well done. And they are free (unless you choose to make a small donation).

Casper
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Casper » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:26 am

Since this thread has been resurrected, thought I'd mention that the Wall Street Journal had an excellent online retrospective called "100 Years -- 100 Legacies," looking at 100 ideas/inventions that can be attributed at least in part to WWI. It's still online at http://online.wsj.com/ww1/.

I've also added The Beauty and the Sorrow to my reading list, thanks for the recommendation.

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by island » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:11 pm

I'm glad this resurfaced too.

Also not a book, or specific to the Ottoman Empire, but I just watched a 5 part series called Apocalypse WWI (2014) on the American Heros Channel and it was great! i was amazed, by the amount of footage from this time period.
Certainly makes me want to learn more.
Probably available streaming. Here's a little blurb from Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-WWI-Se ... op?ie=UTF8

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William4u
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by William4u » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:04 pm

Herekittykitty wrote:1. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Remarque was a German soldier during WWI. The book can be read in a few hours. It stays with you forever. Yet I read it again about every 5-10 years.

2. The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. I have read that President Kennedy thought highly of it, and that the history of rapid escalation of the world into WWI influenced the way he handled the Cuban missile crisis. Even if you don't want to read the whole book (it is pretty long), get it from the library and read the first 30 pages or so.
Agreed. #1 is the most famous fiction book, and #2 is the most famous nonfiction book about WWI. Both are great.

texaspapas
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by texaspapas » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:33 am

bertie wooster wrote:I cannot recommend two books by Robert Massie enough:

Dreadnought - this is a recap of the british-german naval arms race as a major contributor to ww1

Castles of Steel - this is a summary of every british-german naval engagement of the war

Castles of Steel is one of the best books I've ever read. Based on my summary above it sounds like it would be pretty boring - but Massie is such a talented writer that the book is so gripping you will not be able to put it down. He is a master. Great books.

Thanks for the excellent recommendation. Just finished the latter and haven't enjoyed a book so much in a long time. Really gripping is the right word. :sharebeer

CoAndy
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by CoAndy » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:36 am

"A World Undone". Quite the read. You see how events during this time have repercussions to this day.

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by Devil's Advocate » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:30 am

Just finished the World Undone: The Great War by G.J. Meyer.

It was pretty good. Alot of back stories on the players in the First World War.

Certainly opened my eyes to the mass of destruction and the millions of lives lost in battle. Crazy.

DA

furwut
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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by furwut » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:58 am

For a great book on the origins of the war try
The Sleepwalkers.

Spoiler - the French get the blame!

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Re: Recommended World War I book

Post by texasdiver » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:33 am

fishingmn wrote:Okay - this is not a book. But If you ever listen to podcasts I highly recommend one called Hardcore History by Dan Carlin.

His most recent series was a 6 part podcast on WW1. Each episode is 2-4 hours long and is very in depth and well done. And they are free (unless you choose to make a small donation).
+1. Dan Carlin's Hard Core History stuff is always fascinating. I'm not a historian so I don't know how accurate his stuff is but it is extremely fascinating to listen to. His series on the eastern front of WWII was also fascinating. You can get it on iTunes here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dan ... 01861?mt=2

The WW-1 series is called Blueprint for Armageddon

You have to go to his own personal web site to get the older stuff as he pulls it off iTunes and charges for it. http://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/

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