An Illustrated History of the First World War By John Keegan
Finished on 1/28/2017
440 illustrations and 15 maps of the First World War out of 5
This is a work of nonfiction, a military history. The author never forgot to mention the vast quantity of human blood spilt at each major battle for so pointless reasons. The pictures of the now-dead soldiers did a good job driving home the fact of mortaility which haunted WWI battlefields. More than once I found myself looking at the soldiers in the photos, and thought ‘You’re about to march off to your death.’ Net total, the author did an excellent job adding weight to the misery and deaths which happened one century ago.
As this is nonfiction I hold it to a different standard than I do fiction. For instance I was a little puzzled why the author didn’t choose to include any information about the home front. He could have mentioned Germany’s Turnip Winter or talked in depth about women joining the labor force, but he didn’t.
This book focused on the military aspects of the story, from the freeing of Finland from the Russian Empire in the north, to Von Lettow-Vorbeck’s guerrilla exploits in Africa in the south, to the evacuation of the Czech army from Vladivostok in the east to Zimmerman’s telegram to Mexico in the west. This was truly a world war.