One Minute Book Review – The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund

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The Beauty and the Sorrow is subtitled ‘an intimate history of the First World War‘ and comprises a collection of letters and diary entries from twenty people who lived through the First World War. The diaries and letters are interspersed with narrative which traces the war, year by year. The individuals followed come from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds, civilian and military, from a German schoolgirl to an Australian Red Cross nurse with the Serbian army, an American born Polish Countess to a Venezuelan cavalryman enlisted in the Ottoman army. This book is both scholarly and readable and puts a human face to those who suffered through this war. The author also points to events and activities which presage the later atrocities which marked the 20th century. Highly recommended.

A more detailed review can be found here.

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