The Historical Atlas of World War I

Livesey, Anthony (with) Willmott, H.P.

Published by Henry Holt 1st printing, 1994
ISBN 10: 0805026517 / ISBN 13: 9780805026511
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192 p., photos, color illus/maps, maps on endpapers, biblio, index, 4to; VG/VG dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Double-page maps with annotated overlays, along with insert maps, photographs, detailed narrative, and eyewitness accounts from personal records explain the Great War battle by battle, and illuminate the global politics behind it. 10,000 first printing.

From Booklist: This work differs considerably from Oxford's Atlas of World War I [RBB Ja 1 94]. The Oxford work consists of maps only, with textual matter limited to a preface and explanatory sidebars. The work under review is divided into five major parts, each having an introductory essay, as well as text explaining each map. The Oxford atlas has only black-and-white maps, while the Holt book has multicolor ones, making clear by the use of colored arrows and lines just which army is moving in attack, defense, or retreat. Also, the Holt maps show variations in terrain by the use of color, with scales showing elevations in meters. The text is easy to read and closely relates to the adjoining map. There are also black-and-white contemporary photos of the trenches, armaments, troops, cavalry horses, and the like.

The American contribution to the war is rather played down, being limited to two pages of text, two small photos, and only two maps, those of the St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne offensives. Surprisingly, these two text pages are not findable in the indexes, under either U.S. or under America, though they are identified under Pershing and the two place-names.

Several double-page time lines show in linear format the activities on the various fronts during each year of the war. In addition, there is a selective bibliography, as well as two indexes, one of general topics and the other of places. The endpaper maps are especially useful. One is a general map of Europe, with numbers corresponding to the pages in the book where that area is discussed; the other end-paper does the same with a map of the world, showing, for example, the area of von Spee's Pacific squadron and even the far-distant battle of the Falkland Islands.

Libraries already owning the Oxford Atlas might wish to supplement it with The Historical Atlas of World War I, which has colored maps, more explanatory text, and presents to its readers a better understanding of the event that was thought to be "the war to end all wars."

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Historical Atlas of World War I
Publisher: Henry Holt 1st printing
Publication Date: 1994

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