From Downing Street to the Trenches: First-hand Accounts from the Great War, 1914-1916

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9781851243938: From Downing Street to the Trenches: First-hand Accounts from the Great War, 1914-1916
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As we look back on World War I on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, we do so with the benefit of hindsight and the accumulated wisdom of a century of writing and thought. But what was it like to experience firsthand those first few years of war―to see an aerial view of the famous Battle of the Somme? How did key political figures make the difficult decision to go to war? And what did young men of the time believe their role ought to be?
           
From Downing Street to the Trenches gathers eyewitness accounts and photographs that vividly convey this lived experience. The letters of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith show the strain of wartime leadership and shed light on his later downfall, while letters home from the young Harold Macmillan are suffused with his experiences in the trenches and mark the beginning of his road to Downing Street. Although it was forbidden to record cabinet discussions, Secretary of State Lewis Harcourt’s unauthorized diary provides a window into the government of the time, complete with character sketches of some of the leading figures, including Winston Churchill. In addition to political figures, the book draws on many local records, including the diary of an Essex rector, written to record the impact of the war on his community and parish.
           
Filled with fear and sorrow but also suffused with hope for the future, the accounts collected here paint a highly personal and immediate picture of the war as it was happening to real people of the time.

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Mike Webb is head of cataloguing of the Western Manuscripts Section at the Bodleian Libraries.

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"These firsthand accounts make us feel the cost borne by those who fought and by the bereft and agonized at home, and also of the sense of purpose and belief in what they were doing, made all the more poignant by hindsight of World War I’s ongoing troubled legacy." (Washington Times 2014-11-07)

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Book Description The Bodleian Library, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Why did Asquith take Britain to war in 1914? What did educated young men believe their role should be? What was it like to fly over the Somme battlefield? How could a trench on the front line be `the safest place'?These compelling eye-witness accounts convey what it was really like to experience the first two years of the war up until the fall of Asquith's government, without the benefit of hindsight or the accumulated wisdom of a hundred years of discussion and writing. Using the rich manuscript resources of the Bodleian Libraries, the book features key extracts from letters and diaries of members of the Cabinet, academic and literary figures, student soldiers and a village rector. The letters of politicians reveal the strain of war leadership and throw light on the downfall of Asquith in 1916, while the experiences of the young Harold Macmillan in the trenches, vividly described in letters home, marked the beginning of his road to Downing Street. It was forbidden to record Cabinet discussions, but Lewis Harcourt's unauthorised diary provides a window on Asquith's government, complete with character sketches of some of the leading players, including Winston Churchill. Meanwhile, in one Essex village, the local rector compiled a diary to record the impact of war on his community. These fascinating contemporary papers paint a highly personal and immediate picture of the war as it happened. Fear, anger, death and sorrow are always present, but so too are idealism, excitement, humour, boredom and even beauty. Seller Inventory # AAH9781851243938

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Book Description The Bodleian Library, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Why did Asquith take Britain to war in 1914? What did educated young men believe their role should be? What was it like to fly over the Somme battlefield? How could a trench on the front line be `the safest place'?These compelling eye-witness accounts convey what it was really like to experience the first two years of the war up until the fall of Asquith's government, without the benefit of hindsight or the accumulated wisdom of a hundred years of discussion and writing. Using the rich manuscript resources of the Bodleian Libraries, the book features key extracts from letters and diaries of members of the Cabinet, academic and literary figures, student soldiers and a village rector. The letters of politicians reveal the strain of war leadership and throw light on the downfall of Asquith in 1916, while the experiences of the young Harold Macmillan in the trenches, vividly described in letters home, marked the beginning of his road to Downing Street. It was forbidden to record Cabinet discussions, but Lewis Harcourt's unauthorised diary provides a window on Asquith's government, complete with character sketches of some of the leading players, including Winston Churchill. Meanwhile, in one Essex village, the local rector compiled a diary to record the impact of war on his community. These fascinating contemporary papers paint a highly personal and immediate picture of the war as it happened. Fear, anger, death and sorrow are always present, but so too are idealism, excitement, humour, boredom and even beauty. Seller Inventory # AAH9781851243938

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Book Description Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2014. Condition: New. Why did Asquith take Britain to war in 1914? What did educated young men believe their role should be? What was it like to fly over the Somme battlefield? How could a trench on the front line be 'the safest place'? These fascinating contemporary papers paint a highly personal and immediate picture of the war as it happened. Num Pages: 304 pages, 20 black & white illustrations, 16 colour plates. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JJF; BJ; HBJD1; HBLW; HBWN. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 242 x 157 x 27. Weight in Grams: 614. . 2014. Hardcover. . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9781851243938

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Book Description Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Condition: New. Why did Asquith take Britain to war in 1914? What did educated young men believe their role should be? What was it like to fly over the Somme battlefield? How could a trench on the front line be 'the safest place'? These fascinating contemporary papers paint a highly personal and immediate picture of the war as it happened. Num Pages: 304 pages, 20 black & white illustrations, 16 colour plates. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JJF; BJ; HBJD1; HBLW; HBWN. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 242 x 157 x 27. Weight in Grams: 614. . 2014. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9781851243938

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