Cascoly Books: Best books about World War I

Cascoly Books - Best books about World War I

The Missing of the Somme - Geoff Dyer

The Battle of the Some took place between July 1 and November 18 of 1916. The British and French armies mounted a joint offensive against the Germans, creating one of the biggest battles of the war and by its end resulting in more than 1 million casualties. It gained the ugly distinction as one of the bloodiest military operations ever. On the first day alone the British army suffered the worst day in its history with nearly 60,000 casualties. The net result of the battle was a ,inimal change in the trench lines.

Part travelogue, part discussion and contemplation of war, this is Geoff Dyer's account of visits to battlefields and, on memorials of World War I. He looks at way photographs film, poetry memoirs and other artifacts reflect the way we think about and remember the war. Myth mixes with memory, as he looks at and expands our understanding of the Great War.


The First World War  Keegan's book brings the same amazing combination of enormous research and clear and powerful writing. His description of the events leading up to the outbreak of war are excellent. This book provides the perfect foil to The Pity of War, and I read them both together.




Eye-Deep in Hell: Trench Warfare in World War I

- John Ellis  -- Millions of men lived in the trenches during World War I. More than six million died there. In Eye-Deep in Hell, the author explores this unique and terrifying world--the rituals of battle, the habits of daily life, and the constant struggle of men to find meaning amid excruciating boredom and the specter of impending death.


The Pity of War Niall Ferguson

Rather than trying to cover the entire war, this book focuses on various problems, myths and misconceptions about the war. No matter what your previous views on the history of this era, this book is guaranteed to annoy, rattle and inspire you -- he has something to offend everyone's favorite theory, from left to right. Even when you don't accept his sometimes questionable conclusions, the process of getting there is well worth it.

From the Trenches

  • Memoirs of an Infantry Officer - Siegfried Sassoon - A celebrated poet who discovered pacifism in the WWI trenches
  • Goodbye to All That - Robert Graves
  • All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque


Pat Barker's trilogy

  • The Eye in the Door Pat Barker
  • The Ghost Road; Pat Barker
  • Regeneration; Pat Barker

      One of the most remarkable series, Barker tells the story of shell shocked patients in a British mental hospital during World War I. Based on real people like Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves, the novels are exceptionally well written and thought provoking.

      Night Thoughts of a Classical Physicist

    Other Links:
  • The Face of Battle; John Keegan
  • War in the Holy Land: From Megiddo to the West Bank
  • WWI Aircraft
  • The Oxford Companion to World War I
  • West Point Atlas of American Wars
  • More History Resources:


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