World War I

Some Old Favorites About World War I

July 22, 2014

Recently I shared some of the most interesting new books about World War I that have landed in my mailbox.* Wonderful though many of the new books are, it would be a shame to forget the many excellent older books available. Here are some of my favorites: Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory […]

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Drowning In Books About World War I

June 25, 2014

It is a truth universally acknowledged (at least in the circles I hang out in) that major historical anniversaries are celebrated not only with documentaries, blog posts and re-enactments, but with the publication of Big Fat History Books. It makes perfect sense from the point of view of writer and publishing house: the centennial of […]

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In Which I Give Away A Copy of Nick Lloyd’s Hundred Days

June 19, 2014

As those of you who hang out in history-land know, the centennial of World War I is just around the corner. So far I’ve resisted the temptation to add to the flow of WWI-related blog posts, tweets, and images.* But the pile of books to review and the list of things I want to talk […]

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The Making of the First World War: A Pivotal History

January 24, 2013

  Despite its title, The Making of the First World War: A Pivotal History by historian Ian F. W. Beckett is not another account of the events leading up to World War One.  Instead Beckett is concerned with what he describes as “pivot points”: decisive moments that affected not only the course of the war […]

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Holiday Rerun: The Christmas Truce of 1914

December 25, 2012

My Own True Love and I are on the road for the holidays: home for Xmas with a little side trip to look at vintage airplanes. (History geeks don’t stop being history geeks just because it’s Christmas.) Instead of letting the blog go blank, I thought I’d re-run last year’s Xmas post, with an addendum: […]

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The Lost History of 1914

April 23, 2012

Anyone who’s been following along on this blog knows that, like most history people, I have events and periods that I return to over and over again. Some I’ve followed for years; others are relatively new interests.  One of the constants in my historical life is the First World War.*  It’s always a pleasure to […]

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The Christmas Truce–1914

December 23, 2011

For most of us, the most vivid images of World War I are the trenches on the Western front.  Men dug into positions on either side of a no-man’s land of craters and burned out buildings.  Barbed wire and sandbags provided little protection from enemy shelling or snipers; they provided no protection from rats, lice, […]

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The Beauty and the Sorrow

November 22, 2011

. Over the course of the year, I read a lot of history. Some books I mine for facts. Some grab me with the story. And now and then a work of history simply blows me away. The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War by Swedish historian and war […]

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Who made the map of the modern Middle East?

September 23, 2011

The simple answer is:  Great Britain.  You want the long version? In The Makers of the Modern Middle East   historians T.G. Fraser, Andrew Mango, and Robert McNamara tell the story of how today’s Middle East was created from the remains of the Ottoman Empire during the peace negotiations at the end of the First World […]

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Road Trip Through History: Driving the Ypres Salient

August 18, 2011

Normally I’d hesitate to describe something as a road trip that begins with a transatlantic flight.  The driving tour of the Ypres Salient* is an exception. The Belgian town of Ieper (Ypres in French, “Wipers” in British Tommy) was the center of a series of bloody battles in World War I.  The kind of battles […]

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