A landmark book using unique Imperial War Museum archive material, in which the story of WWI is told in the words of the men who were there. In 1960, the Imperial War Museum began a momentous and important task. A team of academics, archivists and volunteers set about tracing WWI veterans and interviewing them at length in order to record the experiences of ordinary individuals in war. The IWM aural archive has become the most important archive of its kind in the world. Authors have occasionally been granted access to the vaults, but digesting the thousands of hours of footage is a monumental task. (There are over 2,500 interviews, some as long as 20 hours long). As a result, those seeking first person quotations for their works have only used a tiny fraction of the available pre-transcribed material. Now, forty years on, the Imperial War Museum has at last given author Max Arthur and his team of researchers unlimited access to the complete WWI tapes. These are the forgotten voices of an entire generation of survivors of the Great War. Their stories have rested unheard for almost half a century, and nearly all of those interviewed have since passed away. The resulting book is an important, unique and compelling story of WWI in the words of those who experienced it. Destined to become one of the non-fiction reads of 2002 and a classic for years to come.
Max Arthur is an oral historian who specialises in bringing together first-hand recollections of the twentieth century. He is the best-selling author of Forgotten Voices of the Great War,Forgotten Voices of the Second World War and Last Post: The Final Word from our First World War Soldiers.
Other titles include the classic work on the Falklands Campaign, Above All, Courage; Busby Babes: Men and Magic; Men of the Red Beret; The Edwardians; Dambusters and Last of the Few. His most recent title is The Road Home: The Aftermath of the Great War Told by the Men and Women Who Survived It.
His awards include Audiobook of the Year 2004 from The British Book Awards, and he has recently made two documentaries based on his books: The Brits That Went to Spain to Fight for the History Channel and The Dambusters.
Prior to becoming a writer, he served with the Royal Air Force.