Tag: World War I

Pirate Utopia by Bruce Sterling

The collapse of the European empires at the end of World War I produced considerable political strangeness. Béla Kun. The Czech Legion in Siberia. The Bavarian Soviet Republic. Baron Ungern. Flights of fancy, seizures of power, and some powerfully fancy seizures. In Pirate Utopia, Bruce Sterling sails off to another corner of collapsing empires rubbing …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/09/27/pirate-utopia-by-bruce-sterling/

The Ottoman Endgame by Sean McMeekin

“So far from a sideshow to the First World War, the Ottoman theater was central to both the outbreak of European war in 1914 and the peace settlement that truly ended it.” (p. xviii) In The Ottoman Endgame, Sean McMeekin makes a strong argument that understanding the First World War without understanding the part of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/16/the-ottoman-endgame-by-sean-mcmeekin/

Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale

I totally judged this book by its cover. First of all, the book is by Catherine Merridale. About a decade ago, I picked up a copy of Ivan’s War and was rewarded with one of the most amazing works of history that I have ever read. It’s a chronicle of the Great Patriotic War as …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/31/lenin-on-the-train-by-catherine-merridale/

The Vanquished by Robert Gerwarth

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, the guns fell silent, ending more than four years of terrible war in Europe. First as Armistice Day and later as Remembrance Day, European (and Commonwealth) countries even now commemorate the end of the First World War nearly a century after …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/10/05/the-vanquished-by-robert-gerwarth/

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings

This book only covers the first five months of World War I, but those five months were certainly horrendous enough to be worth remembering. The author does not buy into the the subsequent consensus that the war was pointless and not worth the cost; perhaps it never should have been fought, but in his view …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/10/12/catastrophe-1914-europe-goes-to-war-by-max-hastings/

World War I by S.L.A Marshall

The colossal horror of this war is made even more appalling by the fact that it was probably the most pointless war ever fought, yet the sacrifice involved was unimaginable. The author is rather harsh in his assessment of the quality of both the military and political leaders during these four years of unabating slaughter, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2011/05/18/world-war-i-by-s-l-a-marshall/

Infantry Attacks by Erwin Rommel

This book reads like a series of military field reports, which is basically what it is. Rommel displays his flair for aggressive command of infantry under extremely challenging circumstances in the First World War, and I suppose many might find his accounts of courage and resourcefulness under fire very inspiring. But reading this memoir gives …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2011/04/22/infantry-attacks-by-erwin-rommel/

Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves

As a self-serving memoir, I am sure this book was more interesting for Graves to write than it was for me to read. Ostensibly it is a personal account of the Great War, but the author is clearly more interested in himself than in the war. Yet the book is not altogether without interest in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2009/04/12/goodbye-to-all-that-by-robert-graves/

The Orientalist by Tom Reiss

Ali and Nino, the closest thing that modern Azerbaijan has to a national novel, was first published in German in 1937, sold in various translations, hit US bestseller lists in the early 1970s and bears the name Kurban Said as its author. But the question of the author’s identity had never been resolved. All anyone …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/02/11/the-orientalist-by-tom-reiss/