New Titles on the First World War

New sources and interpretations shed a brighter light on one of the most devastating conflicts in history as publications are released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Three of note that have hit the library’s shelves include; The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark (Circ. D511 .C54 2013), Catastrophe 1914 by Max Hastings (Circ. D511 .H37 2013), and July 1914 by Sean McMeekin (Circ. D511 .M33 2013).

There is the excellent introduction to the war by Barbara Tuchman in her Pulitzer Prize winning classic The Guns of August (Circ. D530 .T8). Her description of Edward VII’s funeral is this blogger’s favorite narrative.  Many of the leaders who were related to Edward gathered on this ominous day.   Another great chapter comes from Adam Hothschild’s To End All Wars (Circ. D546 .H63 2011). The author looks at the relationship between Field Marshall John French and his sister Charlotte Despard, a leading British suffragette and anti-war activist. Both lived in completely opposite worlds, yet maintained a relationship throughout the duration of the devastation. And last but not least is Niall Ferguson’s The Pity of War (Circ. D511 .F28 1999).  Chapter one of this controversial work examines popular literature’s treatment of the tensions leading up to the firing of the first bullets. Dr. Sean Brennan, from the History department, claims that, “It is one of the best historical books written in the last twenty years.”

 Dr. Brennan, along with David Wenzel, will be starting their Schemel Forum, World War I: The Watershed Event of the Twentieth Century, tonight at the Pearn Auditorium in Brennan Hall.