Customer Reviews for

The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
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5 Star

(6)

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(4)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Recommended

    A fascinating look at the "Great War," from people who were actually in it on both sides. The information is taken from diaries kept by both civilians and combatants; homebodies, Red Cross nurses, doctors, enlisted men, officers, It takes a some getting used to the cutting back and forth from one narrator to another but you are soon swept up into the horror of it all. The chronology at the beginning of each year makes it very helpful for those not so well versed in the history of this period.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    I highly recommend this book to any history enthusiast!

    This book gives its reader a far beeter understanding about what the people of that era were actually feeling and experiencing. It delves into the lives of people from differant countries, cultures, and occupations. They were all drawn into the war for differant reasons, and all experienced it in differant ways. I've been told that only humans wage war, and to truley know and understand war you must know the human experience. You WILL know and understand WWI after reading this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An enduring portrait of human lives in war

    Beautifully written, Englund does the best kind of writing by telling the story of WWI through the eyes of numerous people; one twelve, several in their 20s and some in their 40s. The cast of characters is referenced in the beginning and is highlighted by timeless black and white photos. What is most striking is the innocence of those portrayed; not knowing what to expect with the shadows of war looming and eventually how war changes all of them. The book is dedicated to a soldier who was killed in the Iraq war in 2005. Englund, a historian, is also on the Swedish academy which awards the Nobel Prizes.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    An intense reading experience!

    The idea that WWI was fought entirely in the trenches of Europe is so ingrained in us that many feel calling it a world war is a mistake. In fact, it involved people from every continent but Antarctica, and Peter Englund's new history brings that home in an insightful, readable and personal way. He draws on the experiences of 20 men and women whose diaries and letters cover their experiences in various theaters from 1914-1918: an American wife of a Polish aristocrat vacationing with her children outside Warsaw; a Danish solider drafted into the German army; a Belgian fighter pilot; a Venezuelan cavalryman in the Ottoman army; an Australian woman driving for the Serbian army; a British infantryman in Africa; a New Zealander under siege in Baghdad, etc. Some die, some disappear, some survive, but each has a story rich in detail and emotion. Read it; you won't forget it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    The Beauty and the Sorrow is quite simply one of the best non-fi

    The Beauty and the Sorrow is quite simply one of the best non-fiction works I've ever read. The style of writing is atypical for a history. It's compelling. It draws you in and makes you understand the realities they faced whether participants or non-combatants in an unrelenting, grinding war that was unlike any war that had gone on before it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Peter Englund has created a small miracle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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