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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Voices of the Great War
This is a remarkable work. Max Arthur has distilled hundreds of hours of interviews into small pieces which he then assembles in to a patchwork gradually forming a picture of the Great War. No knowledge of the details of the war are needed; this is a view from ordinary people from all sides, including women of the Land Army and medical staff.
The voices are of their...
Published on 24 Nov 2002

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but difficult to put in context.
This is an excellent collection of first-hand accounts of the Great War, from a variety of different contemporary contributors to that war.

The only problem with this book is that it divorces the account from much of the wider picture, so it tends to foster a 'I've read that book, I know all about WW1 now' sort of attitude. Perhaps it's just a reflection of...
Published on 22 May 2008 by WeatherNerd


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost generation, 16 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
This book gives you the insight or ordinary men and women and how it affected them in times of war.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and it will stay with you forever......., 8 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
Everybody should read this book, it will stay with you forever. They should never be forgotten. My family lost three men in that war and it's a little window on what their lives were like.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable, 31 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
Along with Last Post and other authors' accounts from soldiers, this is an invaluable record of the suffering and emotions of the men who fought.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent record of people's thoughts, 19 Dec 2013
By 
Kh Worsencroft "Caline56" (Norfolk UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
I gained an in-depth previously unknown viewpoints and details of WWI I am glad these records have been kept and divulged in a book, great pics too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real stories from real people, 12 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
This book brings world war 1 to life, as these are real diaries, written by real soldiers. Perfect for my son's key stage 3 history project. I loved the fact that some accounts start before the war started, and take you through the battles they endured, right up to when peace was declared. This is a piece of history everyone should read, and should never be forgotten
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very humbling book, 10 Sep 2013
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The suffering endured by soldiers during this conflict beggars belief. A very descriptive and provoking read. A book everyone should read and consider how lucky they are because of the sacrifice made by past generations.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent record, from those who were actually there, 12 Oct 2010
This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
This book is part of a series which also includes the Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust, Forgotten Voices of the Blitz, and a couple of others. In 1972 the Imperial War Museum started a project to record the memories of soldiers who had fought in the First World War. This book is a compilation of these, laid out in chronological order. Each is anything from a few lines to a couple of pages, and it states who the soldier was, where he fought and what regiment he was from. It is a great book, and a great idea, as it is so good to read the memories of people who were actually there, not just a researcher who has researched the events, these people were actually there and knew what it was like. There is a lot about the conditions of the war, of course, and I also particularly like the bits which talk about their relationships with their comrades, and also even with the "enemy" who they were supposed to be fighting. It was transcribed as it was said, with all the little phrases and things that the old soldiers used, so you could really imagine them saying it. I definitely recommend this for anyone interested in the First World War.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 24 Sep 2009
This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
I found this an absolutely fascinating collection of memoirs from those who experienced WWI. Some of the voices sprang from the page and took the reader into the world of nearly 100 years ago. However, for me, some of it lacked a bit of what I have experienced with other books of this type. Perhaps it was because the people were interviewed some time after the event, but there is an absence of immediacy that is a little disappointing. It also feels as if the stories (or the people telling the stories) have are one step away from what went on. This is understandable - some of the most horrific things were witnessed by the war's participants, and why should they relive the full horrors for our sakes. But, the something missing for me led to it not really bringing home the sheer awfulness of what happened.

Having said all that, it is definitely a book worth having, and does provide an interesting hint of what life was like at the time.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone can get to source documents, 23 May 2008
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This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
This book is now part of a series collated from the IWM archives. Not everyone can get to source documents through time or distance. This book has brought some of the sources into the public arena. Naturally such short personal reminicences give a fragmented picture. If you want opinions handed to you, read a 'definitive' history. All history books, however good, are shaped by the author. If a book like this makes you question recived wisdom, it has done its job.
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10 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant idea, could be better executed, 11 Sep 2005
This review is from: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War) (Paperback)
The concept is brilliant, write a history of WW1 in the words of those who where there - using interviews and archive material. And to a point, this is what Max Arthur does supremely well, his selection of material, and the way it really puts you in the front line of the first world war is incredibly moving - you really finish feeling that you'd heard about the trenches and Gallipolli yourself, from hours of talking to the men who were there.
But, what for my mind it does very badly, is actually explain the war. Despite many photographs of the people "speaking", Arthur didn't find room for a single map, so in trying to understand where people where and how these places related to each other. Also, the reader with no other education would be convinced that the entire first world war occurred in the trenches of France, and the beaches of Gallipoli - the RFC occasionally flew overhead, and the RN occasionally delivered some troops to a beach. There's no mention of a single naval battle (Were Jutland and Scapa Flow that insiginificant? Surely not.) There's not a single interview with a pilot of the Royal Flying Corps or the Royal Naval Air Service. Nowhere do the wars in either Africa or Russia get a look-in.
Finally, and most unforgiveably, virtually every interview was with somebody ranking Captain or below. Without doubt these people have much to say to us, and their inclusion is essential - but what about the more senior officers - the people making the decisions, who decided how and why the war should be fought. I cannot believe that the archives are totally devoid of a single word by the generals - on either side - who managed the first world war. For something that portrays itself as a history of WW1, this omission is unforgiveable.
Yes, this is worth reading, but it could do the job so much better.
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