Anytime is the right time to explore history. The 100th anniversary of “the greatest war” evokes cries from ghostly trenches. An assassination may have sparked World War I but a blueprint for conflict existed long before the first shot. This war gave us shell shock, machine guns, and "a lost generation."
If All Quiet on the Western Front is the last book you’ve read about “the war to end all wars,” consider reading a title from our intentionally short list.* For in doing so, you may discover, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even the past.” (William Faulkner)
- The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks (graphic nonfiction)
- 1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War by Charles Emmerson
- Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea by Robert K. Massie
- The Great War And Modern Memory by Paul Fussell
- An Illustrated History of The First World War by John Keegan
- Catastrophe, 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings
- To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild
- July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin
- The Assassination Of The Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World by Greg King and Sue Woolmans
- The Absolutist by John Boyne
- Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
- In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl
- A Soldier Of The Great War by Mark Helprin
- Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry
- The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes
- Regeneration by Pat Barker
- Three-Day Road by Joseph Boyden
- Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger; translated with an introduction by Michael Hofmann
- Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves
- The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War by Peter Englund
- Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T.E. Lawrence
- Chronicle of Youth: The War Diary, 1913-1917 by Vera Brittain
*Thanks to Mark Langston, Ross-University Hills Branch Library, for his recommendations.
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I loved the Harlem hellfighters, I will try to read some more from this list.
Thanks for reading! I didn't know anything about the 369th regiment until reading Harlem Hellfighters. If you want more graphic nonfiction, watch for a separate list of WW II titles which I'll be posting soon.