The First World War by John Keegan

The First World War by John Keegan is history as a story. Keegan is a journalist, and it is said that journalism is the first draft of history. (The first draft of anything is usually rubbish, so that is why I don’t read the papers.) And a good way to look at this book is as a journalist going back over the previous drafts and making the story tighter. This isn’t a book that probes deeply into the causes of the war or comes to any profound conclusions about its effects. It is just the story of what happened. If that is what you want, this is what you get.

And what a story. Continue reading

The Great War – BBC Series 1964


The hundredth centenary of the Great War has been marked by the BBC with a huge quantity of retrospective coverage.  We have already had hours and hours of broadcasting.  Some people think it will all be over by Christmas, but it looks like the schedules have become gridlocked and it may be four years before we can return again to normal viewing. Continue reading