12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2000
True to her very personal and well-tried approach, Lyn Macdonald's 1914-1918 Voices and Images of The Great War stands out in the oral historiography of the War as a feat only she herself might ever be able to parallel. Unlike J.C. Dunn in his The War the Infantry Knew, Macdonald draws her material from the widest scope of testimonies available. Aside from the direct appeal of the eyewitness account, she intersperses her survey with the naiveté of soldier's poetry, press ads and pics, jokes and cartoons, songs and letters sometimes highly intimate, to mention but a few.
In so doing, her approach becomes decidedly essayistic, and it is up to the reader to decide which impression will prevail from his reading experience: the one of a heightened sense of life or commitment to whatever specific cause one was involved in, or of an increasing numbness triggered by the sheer impossibility to cope with such turn of events one was dragged into.
What will stick in my memory, is the eloquence and appeal of the ordinary man and woman's attempt to bend the inconceivable into appropriate shape of text or image. In its directness this is a superb instance of alternative history in its own right; it easily surpasses much of the canonized history of the ominous onset of a dark century.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2000
I have a great interest in The Great War, and have read all of Lyn Mcdonalds previous publications. This book follows the previous strings of her other titles in so far as it comprises mainly of letters, correspondence and recollections of people who were actually present during the conflict. I found it to be an interesting and compulsive read and a book that you could read over and over again. It is a must for anyone who has an interest in this dark period of human history.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2013
That is truly a book every school should have on the curriculum. The war see through the eyes and experience of the people who were there from the allies AND the Germans side, from the fighting men and the civilians back at home.
Heart rending at times it also makes you laugh. It does give a different slant to Daily Routine. I highly recommend it.