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Post World War I Reading Suggestions

Folio Society devotees

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1Leanne15
Feb 8, 11:40am Top

I'm not much of a non-fiction reader, but I've just been devouring three of Barbara Tuchman's books this week and I'm interested to learn more. I was very surprised to learn about the Zimmerman Telegram and how it may have been the impetus for the US to enter the war. I've always heard it was the sinking of the Lusitania. But I'm curious if anyone has any recommendations for books for the period after the armistice, it doesn't have to be folio. I've heard of a book called Paris, 1919 by Margaret MacMillan, has anyone read it? Also, are there any books that talk about the German psyche during this time? Were they angry at their leadership for starting the war and putting them through such hardship? There's a review on goodreads for The Guns of August, and a woman mentions that she grew up in Germany and in history class they weren't taught anything post 1900, and she was stunned to learn about her country's actions leading up to the war. I was very surprised by that. Any recommendations or insights would be appreciated, thanks!

2affle
Feb 8, 5:47pm Top

Try this: The Vanquished by Robert Gerwath.

3podaniel
Feb 8, 7:31pm Top

>1 Leanne15:

I've read Paris, 1919--it's the best modern account of the Versailles Treaty. For non-fiction, it is well written and Ms. MacMillan knows how to tell a story. That are two earlier books about the Versailles Treaty written shortly after its signing, that are much better written and much more entertaining to read, but, alas, not as factually accurate and obviously not benefiting from subsequent research: The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes (yes, that Keynes--Keynesian Economics--Keynes) and Peacemaking, 1919, Being Reminiscences of the Paris Peace Conference by Harold Nicolson (I think Nicolson is a fantastic writer--if you like this work, try his The Age of Reason).

4Leanne15
Feb 8, 8:49pm Top

Thank you! That's exactly the type of book I was looking for.

5Leanne15
Feb 8, 8:53pm Top

Thank you! I think I will try Paris 1919 and Peacemaking, 1919.

6NathanielPoe
Edited: Feb 10, 9:00pm Top

Try Paul Fussell: "The Great War and Modern Memory". or Robert Graves' "Goodbye to All That". Those two will light your fire. Siegfried Sassoon wrote of his adventures, too, though I forget his title -- something about "a Fox-Hunting Man," I believe.

7Leanne15
Feb 11, 10:36am Top

Thanks, I'll check those out.

8podaniel
Feb 11, 10:45am Top

>7 Leanne15:

All of NathanielPoe's suggestions have been published as FS editions and are well-worth owning (the best FS production is the Fussell).

9Leanne15
Feb 11, 12:42pm Top

Oh great, I think my husband might have the Robert Graves one in his FS collection. (He keeps the non-fiction in his man cave and I rarely go down there lol).

10kcshankd
Feb 13, 11:46pm Top

USA Trilogy is an interesting fictional exploration of post-ww1 USA. The Library of America has a one-volume set.

11Leanne15
Feb 14, 11:07am Top

Thank you, I'll look out for that.

12elladan0891
Feb 16, 10:27am Top

Graves' Goodbye To All That is great. It is, of course, a personal perspective from the British side. It is not a post-WWI book, although it includes some
of those years - it covers Graves' childhood, school years, WWI, and some years after. WWI parts are arguably the most striking, but he knew, met, and talked about a lot of famous people, the whole memoir is fascinating.

Sasson wrote a whole trilogy if autobiograohical novels, also available in a handsome Folio set. Memoirs of the Fox-hunting Man mentioned above is the first novel and deals with pre-WWI years, while Memoirs of the Infantry Officer and Sherston's Progress deal with WWI.

To see one of the post-war outlooks from the German side, you can try Erich Maria Remarque. He is most famous for his excellent All Quiet On the Western Front, which I think is one of the best WWI books, and one of the best of all anti-war books in general. But for post-war outlook, try The Road Back, which talks about return of the German soldiers from the front and their attempts to integrate back into society, and Three Comrades, set in Weimar Republic.

13Leanne15
Feb 16, 11:33am Top

Thank you, those sound interesting.

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