Friday, November 12, 2010

The Pity of War

Thinking of Armistice Day, this book came to mind.  I believe it was the subject of one of the NYT reading groups way back when, but I didn't read it at the time.  Here is an interview with Margaret MacMillan from 2002.  Another book is Niall Ferguson's The Pity of War, which explores the economic as well as military impact of the war, focusing more on the origins of the war than its aftermath.  Looks like he explores the war more from the British perspective.

World War I has pretty much faded into the background, but in reading The Warrior and the Priest I find my interest renewed and look forward to any other suggestions for reading material.


  1. Two other pretty good books are John Keegan's "The First World War" and Barbara Tuchman's "The Guns of August."

  2. People speak very highly of Tuchman's book, but I've never read it. I think I picked it up after reading 1919, which is a great book. I'd happily read that again if there's interest. As is Over Here by David (?) Kennedy -- about the effects on the U.S.

    And when I asked a colleague about more WWI books, I was pointed to Dos Passos. I read one of the three in the USA series, which was brilliant in its way.

    I'm about to look at a book about WWI in the Middle East -- although this looks like more of a military history. What 1919 makes clear is how they carved up the Middle East and gave it to all the European countries as "mandates."

    I'm still reading about labor and "migrations." I rarely read two books at once, and it's probably a mistake. But these are both worth reading through to the end, so am sticking with them both. Then I'll check out this new WWI history.

  3. Thanks for pointing out Tuchman, rick. I think she also wrote a book about The Zimmerman Telegram.


    See the National Archives link above for the telegram itself, both before and after it was deciphered.