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World War I
A Short History of World War I
by James L. Stokesbury
Paperback. Published by William Morrow and Co. 1981 review: A very readable, concise history of WW 1. James Stokesbury manages to summarize the war without reverting to a simple list of events. There are very few of the personal stories of individuals (except the major leaders) but there are enough mixed in with the facts and dates to hold your interest. He does include several opinions of his own with respect to some major blunders by both sides. All in all a very enjoyable book for the neophyte and a nice review for the more knowledgeable.
Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I
by Stephen O'Shea
Paperback. Published by Daniel M. Barber 1998
Review from Booklist, May 15, 1997. In places the Western Front still slashes across Belgium and France, visible among the cemeteries, ossuaries, and monuments as grassy, cratered terrain, zig-zagging trenches, crumbling pillboxes and forts. O'Shea, while working in publishing trenches in Paris, grew curious about the war's physical aftermath, and in several trips gathered his observations for this sensitively nuanced tour. For preparation, he steeped himself in the war's history and got reacquainted with the trench experience of his two Irish grandfathers. Both motifs contribute to the book's structure, which unfolds geographically as O'Shea hoofs it from the sea to Switzerland, encountering formerly muddy slaughterhouses euphemized as Ypres, the Somme, or Verdun. At each battle area O'Shea summarizes what generals hoped would happen and how they seemingly never learned from what did happen, a mulish obstinacy that palpably angers him. His contemporary vignettes vividly animate the trip, as do his reflections about the meaning of monument making. With this ambulant meditation and protest against militarism, O'Shea has created a high-stature addition to the classic works about the Great War. Gilbert Taylor Copyright© 1997, American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title

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Updated 8 February 2016