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Subject: Reading List for Paths of Glory rss

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W. Cracker
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What book(s) would you recommend that I read in anticipation of the re-release of Paths of Glory. Looking for something factual rather than a fictional account.
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John David Galt
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David Fromkin's "A Peace to End All Peace" would be at the top of my list: it explains how WW1 (and, especially, greed and lack of understanding on the part of the British and French) led to the huge mess that still exists in the Near East.
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W. Cracker
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Sounds like a very good read but does it give accounts of the battles themselves? Not looking for the gory details, just a sense of how the battles were fought, the leadership on both sides, etc.

 
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Michael Menial
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I would recommend:
1914-1918: The History of the First World War, David Stevenson (ISBN 978-0718197957)

Mapping the First World War (ISBN 978-0007522200) but only if you are a map addict like me
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W. Cracker
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Mike_DA wrote:
I would recommend:
1914-1918: The History of the First World War, David Stevenson (ISBN 978-0718197957)

Mapping the First World War (ISBN 978-0007522200) but only if you are a map addict like me


Gave your first recommendation a look on Amazon and I think it's what I'm looking for to get the historical background. Once I've played Paths, the second sounds like a second buy as I enjoy maps as well. Thanks!
 
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Jason Schmidt
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A World Undone: The Story of the First World War

I enjoyed it as a general overview of the entire conflict.
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Chris Valk
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schmidtjas wrote:
A World Undone: The Story of the First World War

+1. Excellent introduction to WWI and very well written.
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Aaron Percival
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A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
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MrMzchf wrote:
What book(s) would you recommend that I read in anticipation of the re-release of Paths of Glory. Looking for something factual rather than a fictional account.


Based on what you're looking for: John Keegan, The First World War.

jdgalt wrote:
David Fromkin's "A Peace to End All Peace"


A great book, but not what you are looking for. It is chiefly focused on economic and political topic during the war and how they affected the world after.
 
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Aaron Percival
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A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
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I'll add to the above a little:

If you really want to get "excited" about the start of the Great War - maybe appropriate due to the approaching centenary - I would highly recommend these:

Barbara W. Tuchman, The Guns of August: A magnificently written book on the climate in Europe leading up to WWI. A must read, in my opinion, as it puts the entire conflict into the correct context.

Sewell Tyng, The Campaign of the Marne: An old book, but the canonical source on the first few months of the campaign in the northern part of the Western Front.
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John David Galt
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Thank you, I haven't read those last two.

Not a book, but I'd also highly recommend the ongoing series of "100 years after" in-depth articles at mentalfloss.com. There are over 100 of them, all webbed, and the narrative hasn't even reached the start of the war yet.
 
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Andrew Wagner
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World War I: A Short History, by Norman Stone

http://www.amazon.com/World-War-One-Short-History/dp/0465019...

It's an amazing little book. In just 200 pages he gives a full overview of the war's causes, duration, and conclusion. At the same time it's not at all dry or encyclopedic, as other short histories often are; he's a very gifted writer and constantly telescopes back and forth from the big picture down to the man-on-the-field perspective.

Unlike many (most?) other WWI books in English, he doesn't obsess over the British experience in the war: while certainly addressing it, he also spends a lot of time on the Eastern, Italian, and Middle Eastern fronts.

It reads really quickly; I started and finished the whole thing in an off day. If you don't know much about WWI, I'd suggest it, but even if you do, I'd still suggest it because the narrative is packed with info and stories that even most WWI fanboys have never heard. He's also quite opinionated and doesn't back away from rendering judgement, and offering interpretations that aren't typical received wisdom--both elements that I think make for great historical writing.

John Keegan's The First World War is fine but, I think too overly focused on the Western Front and in a couple places just wrong on the Eastern Front. The Guns of August is of course a classic and deserves to be read, but it's also highly outdated; a mountain of new research has been published in the 50 years since GoA came out and historians have generally moved on and away from her conclusions.
 
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Stuart Cudahy
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C.e.w. Bean. The official war history of Australia 1914 to 1918. A slice of the war perhaps, but considered by more than a few, a bloody good read. bloody notwithstanding. Wars are more than the powers, the man in the trench struggling to make his seat not wet and go over stands out. Just to go over with dozens of mg s rattling and buzzing. Inevitably, modern war cannot work for us, we fight ourselves. Still a bloody good study. Read Bean. His volume on Pozieres and the Somme is dark. You can almost hear all those machine guns and the inhuman scream of incoming shells. Bean doesn't hold back in his description of the waste, Australiawise. We are a strange tribe. Cheers stu I mean all our tribe, Germans and Turks also. In a later war, Japanese, if you put me to the question and the poker. You might need the poker. War is a cruelty. The sooner war is rendered irrelevant the better for all of us and all of us to come.
 
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Christoph Spörlein
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Also not a book but Dan Carlin is doing a multi-part podcast on WW1 at the moment (http://dancarlin.com/disp.php/hharchive) and he is simply fantastic to listen to.
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Stuart Cudahy
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Wow, I kind of went, ye?
 
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