Fields of Memory: A Testimony to the Great War

Overview

More than eight million died, and countless others were wounded, in World War One's terrible series of offensives and counter-offensives--and the French and Belgian countryside still bears the scars of these bloody battles. Cemeteries and memorials commemorate those who perished, and the crumbling remains of fortifications and trenches testify to the war's destruction. Tour this somber, thought-provoking landscape in photographs old and new, and recall the key events of this "War to end all Wars," including the ...
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Overview

More than eight million died, and countless others were wounded, in World War One's terrible series of offensives and counter-offensives--and the French and Belgian countryside still bears the scars of these bloody battles. Cemeteries and memorials commemorate those who perished, and the crumbling remains of fortifications and trenches testify to the war's destruction. Tour this somber, thought-provoking landscape in photographs old and new, and recall the key events of this "War to end all Wars," including the battles of Marne, Ypres, Flanders, Verdun, Somme, and Passchendaele. Contemporary materials--journals, letters, newspaper reports, and the writings of key figures such as Wilfred Owen and Erich Maria Remarque--provide heartrending personal accounts of the fighting and its effects. As you gaze on the serene images of the present-day landscape, and compare it to the wartime photos, the stark contrast will move you...and inspire remembrance.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It is fitting at the close of the 20th century that some thought be given to the initial calamity that set the century upon its destructive course. The First World War by Prior (history, Australian Defense Force Acad.) and Wilson (history, emeritus, Univ. of Adelaide) provides a fine narration of the military course of the war on land (a companion volume in Cassell's "History of Warfare" series will treat the war at sea). It concentrates on the European fronts, East and West, and on the strategy and outcomes of the battles between the major participants. The authors show a decidedly pro-British perspective, giving less-than-equal treatment to French and American contributions to victory. Although there is a good chronology, the battlefield maps contain more detail than needed for such a general narrative. This strictly military history provides some debatable conclusions on the war's genesis and a paean to the justness of the Allied cause. It may be in answer, intended or not, to Niall Ferguson's provocative The Pity of War (LJ 3/15/99) or even John Keegan's stark The First World War (LJ 4/15/99). Roze, a classical literature professor in France, has produced a more thoughtful work in her Fields of Memory. True to its title, it is a testament in words and images to those who suffered and died in the Great War. Its fluid story is extensively illustrated with period photographs as well as recent ones of the French and Belgian countryside, still littered with ruins. Personal narratives of French participants are frequently cited to give life to the dead and help individualize the war experience. It is not scholarly like Jay Winter's Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning (Cambrige Univ., 1995),but it has much more to offer than its coffee-table exterior would lead one to expect. Both books are recommended for public and academic libraries.--James Tasato Mellone, Hofstra Univ., Hempstead, New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780304353248
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/2000
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 10.26 (w) x 11.76 (h) x 1.77 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 6
Chronology 8
Introduction 9
1914 13
The Opening Shots 19
The Battle of the Frontiers 24
The Invasion of Belgium 27
The Retreat 31
The Battle of the Marne 33
The German Withdrawal 41
The Race to the Sea 48
The War in Flanders 54
Stalemate 62
1915 83
Flanders 86
The Vosges 92
The Heights of the Meuse 102
The Eparges 103
The Argonne 107
Vauquois 113
Artois 116
Champagne 125
Life at the Front 130
1916 143
Verdun 144
The Somme 161
1917 185
Chemin des Dames 190
Ypres 204
1918 213
The Armistice 225
Conclusion 226
Bibliography 230
Index 231
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