The story of World War I is brought to life through the gripping personal narratives of those at the center of the storm.
World War I was waged by young people from twenty-eight countries in an era without the advantages of military "embeds," satellite phones, and streaming media coverage. Intimate Voices from the First World War fills in the gaps in the history of the world's first global confrontation with excerpts from recently uncovered letters and diaries of those on the front lines and their friends at home. In their reflections on the vastness of the enterprise of war, these combatants, victims, and eyewitnesses re-create the scope of the conflict with immediacy and tenderness. Written with the frankness and intimacy of words not intended for public eyes -- full of private passions, prejudices, humor, and vivid insights -- these communiqués speak to us directly from within the war itself and from all sides of the conflict. These marvelous historical narratives not only immerse readers in an ongoing dialogue about the meaning of human conflict but also serve as reminders of the individual perspectives and beliefs that sometimes get overlooked during times of global strife.
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Svetlana Palmer was born in Moscow in 1969. She studied at Moscow State University as well as in London and Berlin. She moved to Britain in 1990 and has worked on critically acclaimed documentaries including the BAFTA-nominated CNN/BBC Cold War series and ITV's award-winning The Second World War in Colour. Svetlana also co-produces arts and music documentaries with her filmmaker husband. They live in north London with their two sons.
Sarah Wallis was born in America in 1967 and moved to Britain as a child. She studied Russian and German and used these languages while working as an assistant producer on many historical documentaries including the BBC series People’s Century, for which the episode "Master Race" won an Emmy Award, and the RTS award-winning Homecoming, a film following the return to Russia of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Now a producer, she lives in north London with her partner and their two children.From Publishers Weekly:
In June 1918, while holding back a German advance on the French town of Marne, American officer John Clark wrote a letter to his sweetheart in which he compared his wartime experience to "great cinema, constantly changing, constantly moving." But cinema couldn't do justice to all the drama contained in the pages of this extraordinary collection of diary entries and letters written by combatants in World War I. An outgrowth of the acclaimed British television documentary, The First World War, this book features the writings of individuals from 13 different nations. The first entry, a letter from incarcerated 16-year-old Vaso Cubrilovic, one of the collaborators in the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Serbia, voices a youthful and naïve militancy that exposes the arbitrary nature of the act that set off the beginning of the war. By putting his words first, the authors provide an interesting context for the subsequent fear, despair and confusion expressed by the young warriors who were sent to the trenches. The distinct voices include those of an Englishman who is ambivalent about the cause yet glad to be making use of himself, an unflinchingly patriotic Frenchman and a German who seems to have had wartime patriotism thrust upon him. The war's purpose seems to dissolve as each individual's story unfolds, and as the accounts of men "crying with exhaustion and rage" or dreaming of their families back home begin to mount up. In this carefully researched and assembled book, the question of war and its meaning is distilled into the vision of a single human being who records history with his eyes, ears and blood. Photos throughout, six maps.
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