1918: War and Peace by Gregor Dallas (2000)

20 March 2012

‎’1918: War and Peace’ by Gregor Dallas is a rip-roaring read, popular history at its best, a gripping tale which sweeps through European history to the outbreak of the Great War, then zeroes in on the vital events of 1918 and continues into the nitty-gritty of the post war peace conferences which led to the troubled Treaty of Versailles.

Full of anecdotes and atmosphere, it’s a hugely enjoyable read. I particularly liked the idea that, like the ancient stories about Troy, the Great War is in fact part of an epic cycle of interlinked myths and legends. Focusing only on the beginning, or stopping before the end like all the memoirs do, is to miss the complete flow and epic tragedy of the cycle, the way the war continued in the East turning into the Russian civil war, the Russo-Polish war and others, spawning tragedies in Armenia, Greece, Palestine, and generally setting the scene for the catastrophic 20th century. A bracing, thrilling, terrifying overview.

‘1918: War and Peace’ on Amazon

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