The First World War (1998)
Like any red-blooded American boy, I have a life long interest in War. But one war has always proven especially elusive and uninteresting to me, World War One. Perhaps it is due to the absence of great literature or movies; other than Sergeant York with Gary Cooper, what little art exists is all anti-WWI--the books: Good-bye to All That (Robert Graves), All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque), & the movies: Paths of Glory, All Quiet on the Western Front, Gallipoli, etc. Perhaps the senseless slaughter of the trenches is too off-putting. Perhaps it is simple ambivalence about the cause or our participation. Whatever the case, it has just never captured my imagination. So the news that our greatest living Military Historian, John Keegan, was taking a whack at it, raised the possibility that here at last would be the book that would spark the flame of interest.
Alas, despite a yeoman effort by Keegan, who has produced an enormously readable and mercifully brief account that ranges from origins of the war to armaments to battles to politics to consequences, even this was not enough. In fact, there's a certain sense of noblesse oblige about Keegan's effort. One senses that he is writing more from a feeling of obligation than of interest or passion.
In his conclusion he says of the war:
The chronicle of its battles provides the dreariest
literature in military history; no brave trumpets
We should be thankful that he has given us the only book we'll ever need to read about this dreariest of all wars.
-Booknotes: A History of Warfare Author: John Keegan (CSPAN)
-ARCHIVES : "john keegan" (Daily Telegraph)
-Forbes Magazine Archive of Keegan Columns
-REVIEW: of 'Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World' by Margaret MacMillan (John Keegan, Washington Post)
-REVIEW : of Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P Bix (John Keegan, Daily Telegraph)
-Think Tank Transcript: "Fields of Battle: The Wars for North America" by John Keegan
-REAL AUDIO: Keegan on The Learning Channel's War and Civilization series
-1998 Reith Lectures War and our World John Keegan.
-REVIEW : of THE FIRST WORLD WAR By John Keegan ( Tim Belknap, Business Week)
-REVIEW: Tools for Destruction, but None for Turning Back (MICHIKO KAKUTANI, NY Times)
-REVIEW: (Paul Kennedy: In the Shadow of the Great War, NY Review of Books)
The First World War by John Keegan
The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson
-REVIEW : of The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson and First World War by John Keegan : Was World War I Necessary (Keith Windschuttle, New Criterion)
-REVIEW : of The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson and The First World War by John Keegan (National Review, David Gress, National Review)
-REVIEW : of The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson and First World War by John Keegan (The New Leader, Roger Draper)
-REVIEW : of The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson and First World War by John Keegan (RICK HARMON , Oregon Live)
-REVIEW : of The First World War (Len Barcousky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette)
-REVIEW : of The First World War , By John Keegan ( Robert A. Pois, Denver Post)
-REVIEW: of The Face of Battle: Goodbye to All That (NEAL ASCHERSON , NY Review Books)
-REVIEW: of The Mask of Command: The Art of War (GORDON A. CRAIG, NY Review Books)
-REVIEW: of The Price of Admiralty: The Grand Decider (GORDON CRAIG, NY Review Books)
Other recommended books by John Keegan:
Copyright 1998-2015 Orrin Judd