Customer Review

7 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, 21 Jan 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)
I am a social history student and a great war fanatic. I found this book extremely overrated. I bought it and read it cover to cover in a day, the content is good, primary sources etc. It really does sum up the experiences of life during the war by the people there. However, there is no analysis whatsoever, it's basically a skilful collaboration of sources. So from the point of view of a budding historian, all it is worth is some quotes for some essays. Anyone here could go in the archives of the IWM and pick up these sources themselves. All Max Arthur has did is put them in a book. Not impressed!
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jun 2008 09:58:33 BDT
WeatherNerd says:
Not everyone lives remotely near the IWM, so I think your assessment is a bit harsh. The book's real value is in bringing a topic that people may not normally consider of interest to a mainstream audience. This book is commonly found in prominent positions in airport and newsagent stands, which is a good thing in terms of educating the masses.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Sep 2008 09:56:13 BDT
Wendophilous says:
I agree with John. Also, this is the whole nature of the Forgotten Voices series! Read the title! It's not about analysing what happened it's about people who were there getting to tell their story. And you say yourself that the content is good!

Posted on 10 Nov 2008 13:33:43 GMT
You appear to be reviewing the book based on something it quite clearly isn't. Do you struggle to understand that the book is entirely an oral history of those who fought in the war, and not, in any circumstances, meant to be an in depth analysis of that war, which is the basis of your poor review? If you are really an historian, than you should find this book an excellent accompaniment to the many books that do offer blow by blow details, analyses and perspectives of the wider issues around WW1. Go back and read it again and then give us a proper review in the context of what the book sets out to achieve.

Posted on 5 Jun 2009 15:26:28 BDT
Road Rocket says:
I should go back to your comic strip magazines LuLu you obviously are too young to understand.

Posted on 17 Mar 2010 06:22:47 GMT
You must be very young and clearly think you know more than those who were there. Now still alive there ARE none who were there!. This information and their stories then are all the more important, both for historical fact and hopefully ensuring there is never another war like it again. I have been to the Battlefields and I have never been more moved by anything in my life. I was also in tears both reading the book, listening to the tapes and actually being there. The Last Post is totally humbling. The sheer loss cannot be estimated or even dreamed of unless you go and see it for yourself and experience it first hand. Presumably you have done so? If not then please don't even attempt to pass judgement until you have.

Posted on 1 Mar 2012 09:22:17 GMT
As a social history student you do not see the value in primary source material?

In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2014 14:43:05 BDT
Nglaws says:
Spot on, trying to compare the books to Lyn Macdonalds attempts are unfair. This is a simple, short and sharp delivery the context of which is obvious and not meant to be high end academic analysis. I love both ends of the spectrum and forgotten voices series are worthy as anything on WW1.
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