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geauxtigers6492
Army Fan
Admin in Waiting
Member since Jun 2008
3526 posts

Which WW1 book should I read first?
Wife got me "Now It Can Be Told" by Philip Gibbs and "Storm of Steal" by Ernst Junger. I got them because these two books are referenced often in DC's Hardcore History podcast.

Which should I crack open first? Thanks!


AUveritas
Auburn Fan
Member since Aug 2013
1871 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
The Guns of August is the gold standard of must read books about WWI. I'd purchase it and start there.


JimMorrison
South Carolina Fan
The Peninsula
Member since May 2012
19936 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
Storm of Steel


JimMorrison
South Carolina Fan
The Peninsula
Member since May 2012
19936 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
quote:

The Guns of August is the gold standard of must read books about WWI. I'd purchase it and start there.


False. It's All Quiet on the Western Front.


BigPapiDoesItAgain
LSU Fan
Shreveport
Member since Nov 2009
767 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
quote:

False. It's All Quiet on the Western Front.

Really not much of a comparison. One is fiction and the other is not.

All Quiet is wonderful at blowing a hole in the glory of war ideas, but one doesn't learn a great deal about the conflict. In fact, change the dates and it fits pretty well for a number of armed conflicts. Nonetheless, a great work in its own right.

Tuchman's book (Guns of August) is a relatively easy read on the subject. Churchill published a multi-volume work (The World Crisis 1911-1918) on the war that can be easily obtained in a one-volume abridgment, and is worth reading. He also recounts the big picture in the first volume of his multi-volume epic The Second World War - the aptly titled Gathering Storm.


tigger1
Member since Mar 2005
2631 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
The problem with The Guns of August is that it starts in August 1914.

So you need to read:

July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin


This covers the lead up to the war. When Princip guns down the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, it is not a headline in Europe. This book shows the long history of Britain protecting the dying Ottoman Empire and the push of the Russians to gain control of not only Istanbul but all of the Balkans.

This one event is masterminded not by the Black Hand but by a much larger Empire.

Thus Germany as well known did not start the war to end all wars, but an operation out of Russia, that in turn destroyed many very old Royal households. The players of the event could not see the effect that operation would and did have on world history.

And the effect of warfare on this scale could not be seen, the opening battles foreshadowed the doom of many countries.


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Drank
Winthrop Fan
Member since Dec 2012
6162 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
quote:

Storm of Steel


Yup. Evertim


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tigahbruh
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Jun 2014
524 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark goes in depth about how Europe went to war in the first place. Doesnt cover the war itself though.
Tuchman's book many mentioned is a good, concise easy read.
Edward Coffman's The War to End All Wars provides good coverage of the US role.


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TigerFanInSouthland
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Aug 2012
15966 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
quote:

Wife got me "Now It Can Be Told" by Philip Gibbs


I have read this book. It’s ok, wasn’t my favorite book in the world, gets a little taxing at times. I would start with “Storm of Steel” if I was you. Or better yet, “The Guns of August”


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Pragmatic PiG
South Dakota Fan
Plumas County
Member since Nov 2012
553 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
Well one author actually fought in the war while the other asked a lot of questions about it

Just sayn


Pragmatic PiG
South Dakota Fan
Plumas County
Member since Nov 2012
553 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
Has anybody read Pat Barkers "Regeneration " trilogy? Also curious about Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" as I have yet to read that one


RandySavage
Auburn Fan
Member since May 2012
19986 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
I haven't read regeneration. If you're a fan of Hemingway "A Farewell to Arms" is a must read, especially if you're also interested in WWI. I like "All Quiet" better though.


Pragmatic PiG
South Dakota Fan
Plumas County
Member since Nov 2012
553 posts

re: Which WW1 book should I read first?
Cool, picked it up today, looking forward to the read



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