A classic of military history about the smaller, personal battles of the First World War
Mr Ashworth has written what he intends to be a scholarly study of ways in which soldiers on opposite sides of No Man's Land made life a little more peaceful for themselves by refraining from active warfare. There is very little in the way of first- or second-hand description of trench life, and instead the book concentrates on a dry, quasi-academic analysis of the live and let live phenomenon.
The style, however, is more schoolmaster than scholar and after a few chapters it becomes quite grating. The book is also far longer than is necessary (not that it is particularly long anyway - 226 pages) and I am quite sure that what he has to say could have been covered in half the space. More of a long essay than a book. To achieve this supposedly more respectable length, the author seems to have taken the old trainer's adage to heart - "Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you've told them". Just to be on the safe side, he has then added "tell them again, and again".
Stripped down to essentials, the book does make one or two interesting observations.Read more ›