Keegan, John. The First World War. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.
Reason read: November 11th is Armistice Day. Read for the veterans.
World War One rocked our planet to its core. There wasn’t a corner of the globe that didn’t feel its effects in some way or another. Historians like John Keegan call it the Great War because it left over ten million people dead and countless others shattered both mentally and physically beyond recognition. As Keegan explains, it was the first time world powers used ferocious modernized brutality to subdue their military enemies along with innocent women, children, and livestock. No living creature stood a chance against this new age of warfare. Keegan pushes you into the muddy trenches, onto the blood soaked battle fields, and into the intimate lives of courageous but doomed soldiers. Against this bloody backdrop Keegan also brilliantly sheds light on secret political and religious negotiations, heated war-room strategies, and closed-door council room debates. With Keegan you travel to the Western front, East Africa, the Carpathians and beyond. This is a comprehensive history of one of the most polarizing events known to man.
Confessional: I am usually not a history fanatic, especially when it comes to war of any kind.
Second confessional: I am not a proofreader by any means, but this seems a little too obvious a mistake to overlook, “The French did not speak English, French scarcely any French; General Henry Wilson, Deputy Chief of Staff, translated” (The First World War p 103).
Author fact: Keegan is the master of historical warfare. I am also reading The Second World War for the Challenge.
Book Trivia: The Frist World War offers three sections of photographs and a bunch of maps, all in black and white.
Plat list: “Sambre et Meuse,” and “Le Chant du depart”
Nancy said: Pearl said there are many good general military histories and Keegan’s is one of them.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “World War I Nonfiction” (p 251).