- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Cassell; 01 edition (4 Aug. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844037991
- ISBN-13: 978-1844037995
- Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 852,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Faces of World War I: The Great War in words & pictures Paperback – 4 Aug 2014
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A picture is worth 1,000 words and Max Arthur has trawled through the archives of the Imperial War Musem to tell the story of the Great War in poignant black and white. --Tribune Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The tragedy of the Great War in words and pictures, covering all aspects and armies who fought.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
The large format lends itself to the often panoramic images - and also allows you to see in detail extraordinary and haunting portraits - the 'faces' after which the book is named. It's a collection to please the expert and the interested browser alike - a WWI buff will appreciate the precisely captioned battle scenes - but any reader will feel the impact of the personal quotations which accompany many images - they add an extraordinary dimension to one's understanding of life and conditions in the trenches. It's an immensely moving photo-record, but my heart was particularly wrenched by the three Australian brothers who all died in one two-day attack, the home images of the average, working-class man who went to fight for king and country... not the Eton toffs, but the desperately poor. The images depict a world of contrasts, both in Britain and in Germany - but when it came down to it, all the men at the front were in the same boat, and returned after the conflict to their bleak lives with their terrible disfigurements, mental scars and the memory of lost comrades.
Children (and some adults) are all too dismissive of the previous generations and, although I would not recommend showing this to young children, it could help teenagers studying history to get a real sense of the conditions the men fighting in the First World War were subject to. The author does not shy away from showing the dead in photographs and I think it gives the reader something to think about and possibly discuss.
As a book, it is well thought out and presented beautifully. It's a book I would happily leave on my coffee table for friends to flick through. A couple of friends can not understand why I would want to look at pictures from the War (as they find the subject of warfare disturbing) but I've never believed in wrapping people in cotton wool - I think people should know what those men went through and be proud of them. Although it is a collection of frank photographs of war, I think the subject has been handled sensitively too - there are no gratuitous shots what so ever in this book.
Highly recommended to anyone who wants to get a real sense of the lives of the men involved.
Neither are true. I've been keenly interested in The Great War for 30 years or more. I have dozens of books on my shelves, and I've read dozens more, borrowed from libraries. I've seen hundreds upon hundreds of photo's. There's a few in this book that have been used before. Most notably, one of a German officer reading the Kaiser's mobilisation order to a Berlin crowd on 1st August 1914, German infantry marching across open country in open formation, and that of 8 stretcher bearers struggling through knee-deep mud in Flanders, trying to get one stretcher-case back. Possibly only the photo of the Tommy with the "thousand yard stare" is more iconic than the latter (and missing from this book, I might add!). The majority of these I have not seen before.
As for quality, in the first place, these are now century old photo's. In the second, if photography wasn't still in its infancy, it was certainly still in its early childhood. And war photography certainly was in its infancy. Are some shots of less than great quality? Yes. Again, though, the vast majority are fair or better. A few, a very few, are not so good. But then if the author wishes to show something in particular, and his choice is a poorer quality photo or none at all, what is he to do?Read more ›
One particular photo is accompanied by the words of a young Lieutenant 'Now we die. It is the wet death, the muddy death, death dripping with blood. The bodies lie frozen in the earth which slowly sucks them in. The luckiest depart wrapped in canvas, to sleep in the nearest cemetery.'
But there are lighter moments such as the amazing shot of the Zulus dancing in their full battle costume and the tough looking Australian who the Kaiser loathed because he was always stealing from the German dead. There are many more like this in this memorable book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you need to see the horrors of WW1 in picture form this is a nice starting point,There is not much of the written word in this book but it gives you an overview of all the... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dixie flint
this is a Christmas present so is not for me personally but looking through it Ithought it was very informative and tells more by the pictures than if it was the written word.Published on 27 Sept. 2014 by lyndyloo