From the list on France and the first World War.
Who am I?
I’m a historian of modern Europe and France and have focused my research and writing on the First World War for almost 30 years now. The war remains the “original catastrophe” of the catastrophic 20th century and continues to shape our world in decisive ways here in the 21st century. I don’t think there are many topics that are of clearer and more urgent interest, and what fascinates me most is how every day, individual people experienced these colossal events, events that seemed only very personal and intimate to most of them at the time. It is with this in mind that I’ve chosen the books on my list.
Richard's book list on France and the first World War
Discover why each book is one of Richard's favorite books.
Why did Richard love this book?
One of the very best books in English about France during this time, Hanna mines a treasure trove of letters between a married peasant couple from southwest France to tell an intimate history of the war, of its effects on families, women, villages, men, and the countryside. War stories take place on battlefields, of course, but also in homes and in hearts. Anyone wanting to understand the experience of the Great War at the front, on the home front, and everywhere in between, should start here.
Your Death Would Be Mine
Why should I read it?
2 authors picked Your Death Would Be Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
Paul and Marie Pireaud, a young peasant couple from southwest France, were newlyweds when World War I erupted. With Paul in the army from 1914 through 1919, they were forced to conduct their marriage mostly by correspondence. Drawing upon the hundreds of letters they wrote, Martha Hanna tells their moving story and reveals a powerful and personal perspective on war.
Civilians and combatants alike maintained bonds of emotional commitment and suffered the inevitable miseries of extended absence. While under direct fire at Verdun, Paul wrote with equal intensity and poetic clarity of the brutality of battle and the dietary needs…