- Title A History of the First World War in 100 Objects
- Author John Hughes-Wilson
- Year 2014
- Genre History
A History of the First World War in 100 Objects narrates the causes, progress and outcome of the First World War by telling the stories behind 100 items of material evidence of that cataclysmic and shattering conflict. From weapons that created carnage to affectionate letters home and from unexpected items of trench decoration to the paintings of official war artists, the objects are as extraordinary in their diversity and story-telling power as they are devastating in their poignancy. Each object is depicted on a full page and is the subject of a short chapter that 'fans out' from the item itself to describe the context, the people and the events associated with it.
There are a lot of books out there that have jumped on the 100 objects bandwagon, but I think this is a particularly good one. It’s published in consultation with the Imperial War Museum, so all the objects are things that can be found in the museum itself. Each item tells its own tale, but the structure works well for detailing the events of the war as it unfolded, mostly in chronological order but dipping back and forth where necessary.
Of course there are lots of names and places and battles and politics, and it got hard to follow in places, but always at the root of it was the people and how they coped or reacted in each situation. A really good book.
Rating: 5 / 5