WWI Reading

Apr 2015
190
Corsica
#1
Hello,

I want to read a full account of World War I, including its origins and its effects. I want something similiar to the book "The Second World War" by Anthony Beevor, as it discusses military events, political events, social events as well as bits about the main characters of the war.

I have read John Keegan's account of the war, but I found it going too much into military movements and almost nothing on the other things I search for (perhaps except for the origins of the war). I do want military movements and such as well, but not exclusively or not that detailed.

Any tips? Anything similiar to Beevor's work for WWII, but for its predecessor?
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,782
At present SD, USA
#2
The companion book to the documentary series "The Great War: And the Shaping of the 20th Century" might get into that a bit and is fully illustrated.
 
Apr 2015
190
Corsica
#3
The companion book to the documentary series "The Great War: And the Shaping of the 20th Century" might get into that a bit and is fully illustrated.
Thanks for the tip, but I was thinking of something heavier, at least 700 pages. Also I'd prefer if it was a stand-alone book and not a companion. Know anything along those lines? :)
 
May 2011
13,945
Navan, Ireland
#4
Two books I would recommend are ;-

[ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/books/dp/0304366595"]Mud, Blood and Poppycock: Britain and the Great War (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS): Amazon.co.uk: Gordon Corrigan: 9780304366590: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kR1pH1faL.@@AMEPARAM@@51kR1pH1faL[/ame]

really attacks many of the myths about the war.

[ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-War-One-Source-Book/dp/1854093517"]World War One Source Book: Amazon.co.uk: Philip Haythornthwaite: 9781854093516: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rSHkByinL.@@AMEPARAM@@51rSHkByinL[/ame]

gives an overview of almost everything.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,782
At present SD, USA
#5
Thanks for the tip, but I was thinking of something heavier, at least 700 pages. Also I'd prefer if it was a stand-alone book and not a companion. Know anything along those lines? :)
Well... the best overall book on WWI that I've read is Martin Gilbert's "The First World War," but I think that book touches more on the military events and the relevant political events. It's been a while since I read it... but I don't think he really goes into the social and personal events of the war...
 
Sep 2012
9,108
India
#7
Well, if you want one (important) man's view from the centre of it all, I can only echo Herbert Asquith: "Winston has written another book about himself and called it 'The World Crisis.'" Its five volumes should keep you busy. :)

The World Crisis - Winston Churchill
I agree with the above. Instead of five volumes , a single volume condensed history by the same name I. e. ' The World Crisis ' by WSC is available. It is also pretty good.
It so happens that many WW 1 books on individual campaigns or theatres often do cover the aspect of origins of war from a political point of view , so this need worry any reader. But if you want something written with great style and incisiveness about the origins and the first few days, there is nothing to beat ' The Guns of August ' by Barbara Tuchman. Also readable is ' The Eastern Front ' by Norman Stone, ' History of First World War ' by Liddell-Hart, ' Gallipoli ' by Alan Moorehead ,and numerous others.
 
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Apr 2015
190
Corsica
#8
Well... the best overall book on WWI that I've read is Martin Gilbert's "The First World War," but I think that book touches more on the military events and the relevant political events. It's been a while since I read it... but I don't think he really goes into the social and personal events of the war...
Ok, social events might not be as important after all, it should mostly compromise military and political events. The problem with Keegan's book was that it just felt so dry and boring. Have you read Beevor's work on WWII? He manages to incorporate all things, additionally to the actual military movements, and such to make a compelling book.

I also think Keegan entirely missed out on the major players of the war, I think Ludendorff is mentioned like three-four times and all those times it is in conjunction to military movements. Beevor goes into the personality of the WWII characters and discusses them more thouroughly. Keegan also ignored much of the diplomatic and political manouvering of the war, except for the origins, and yeah the whole book was pretty much only military movements which made it seem quite boring to me.

I do think this book by Gilbert seems to be along the lines of what I'm looking for, does it fit with what I wrote here above?
 
Apr 2015
190
Corsica
#9
Both of these are far too short, and the first one focuses on the British, I want one focusing on all the nations! Thanks anyway!
 
Apr 2015
190
Corsica
#10
Well, if you want one (important) man's view from the centre of it all, I can only echo Herbert Asquith: "Winston has written another book about himself and called it 'The World Crisis.'" Its five volumes should keep you busy. :)

The World Crisis - Winston Churchill
I have looked at it but as I understand it he focuses mostly on Britain yes? If I would read something by ol Winston it would be his work on WWII where he was more personally involved. :)