World War I was known as “The Great War” or sometimes “The War to End All Wars”
If only it were true . . .
This past summer marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Through a series of war declarations beginning on July 28, 1914, several European and Asian countries became embroiled in a bloody, often stalemated conflict that did not see the entry of the United States until April 1917. The official date of the end of World War I was November 11, 1918 “Veteran’s Day”.
Marking this centennial observance are several new books at our library. No doubt more are yet to come. Here are just a few of them:
The First of July by Elizabeth Speller (fiction)
On July 1, 1914 four men from four very different worlds collide on the battle field. The catastrophic day that follows includes thousands of Allied casualties, changing the lives of the men forever. A mystery with a Dickensian flavor.
Alamo Doughboy: Marching into the Heart of Kaiser’s Germany During WW I by Jennifer Klett (940.4 Kle)
Minnesotan George Knott’s experiences in the 90th Army Infantry Division during World War I.
The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914 by Bele Zombory-Moldovan and Peter Zombory-Moldovan (940.4134 Zom)
Just first published, this is the translated memoirs of a young Hungarian artist who was called up to serve and sent to the Russian front. Badly wounded, he returned to normal life which was unspeakably strange and never to be fully reclaimed.
The Canal Bridge: A Novel of Ireland, Love, and the First World War by Tom Phelan (fiction)
While touring the world, two young Irish friends are called into battle as stretcher bearers and witness the horrors of the French battlefields.
The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War by Jacqueline Winspear (fiction)
Set in an English village, this is story of love and friendship strained by the pain of separation and the brutal chaos of war.
Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War (audio book) by Max Hastings (940.311 Has)
The first year is re-created from the diplomatic crisis to the fighting in Belgium and France on the western front and Serbia and Galicia to the east. Vivid accounts of the battles and frank assessments of generals and political leaders are given which show why it was inevitable that this first war among modern industrial nations could not produce a decisive victory.
Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed by John F. Ross (940.44973092 Ros)
The story of a poor German-speaking Swiss immigrant who overcame much, including accusations of being a German spy, to become the American ace of aces in World War I and a Medal of Honor recipient.
The Last of the Doughboys by Richard Rubin (940.412730922 Rub)
In 2003, 85 years after the armistice, Rubin located dozens of American veterans of World War I, aged 101 to 113, and interviewed them. Humble and stoic, they kept their stories to themselves for a lifetime, and then shared them at the last possible moment so the world might know and remember.
Poetry of the First World War edited by Tim Kendall (821 Poe)
Includes works from Thomas Hardy, Yeats, Kipling, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen and many others; also includes music hall and trench songs.
Wilfred Owen by Guy Cuthbertson (821.912 Cut)
The story of one of Britain’s best-known and most loved poets. Killed at age 25 on one of the last days of the First World War, he acted heroically as soldier and officer despite his great misgivings about the war’s rationale and conduct.