As 2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Great War, I'm dedicating part of my reading to reflect on its tragic importance. At least one book every month will focus on the Great War; after beginning with a general history, I'll explore different aspects of and theaters in every succeeding month. My aim, besides honoring those who were 'butchered and damned', is to understand the conflict more than I do presently. Virtually all of my Great War studies in university or out of it have looked at western Europe -- either the trenches or the skies. I know nothing of Italy and Austria's meatgrinding struggle in the Alps, nor do I have any real appreciation of the German-Russian conflict. To that end I'll be reading books specific to these areas of the war largely unknown to me. Although I don't and won't have a scheduled reading list, below are some of the titles I am considering.
The First World War, John Keegan
La Feu (Under Fire), Henri Barbusse
The Great War in Modern Memory, Paul Fussell
The Great War at Sea, Richard Hough
To Crown the Waves: The Great Navies of the First World War, ed. Vincent O'Hara et al
Wipers: A Soldier's Tale from the Great War, Jeff Simmons
Forgotten Voices of the Great War, Max Arthur
The Eastern Front, Norman Stone
Rites of Spring: the Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, Modris Eksteins
World War 1 Companion, Mathias Strohn, editor.
Collision of Empires, Prit Buttar
Silent Night, Stanley Weintraub
Considering the way book recommendations multiply like rabbits once a subject is considered in earnest, I'm confident many more will surface. The top three of these will definitely be attempted, as I've wanted to read them for a long time; the others I only discovered after beginning preparations for this. In addition to learning about theaters of the war I'm largely ignorant of, I also want to explore how the war was portrayed in fiction and culture, to discern its impact on the human soul.
Suggestions are welcome.