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If You're Reading This...: Last Letters from the Front Line Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
One element that comes through as remarkably similiar through the men regardless of the war natinoality or even level of education is the similarity of the thoughts. Very few get jingoistic about 'gave my life for the cause.' Instead most talk about the hope they have not caused too much pain by their loss or the hope they will be remembered fondly or that their finest momments have been with their family. It is very intimate and one cannot help but feel like an interloper, but at the same time you are grateful for the chance to know, even in a small way, the soldiers who wrote the letters and feel the sense of loss at their untimely deaths.
In the end this is not an easy book to read, but it is a very powerful book, looking at those men in uniform which gave the last full measure of devotion, whom Kipling so well described as "most remarkable like you."
Unfortunately, whilst the author has a history degree, she is no historian. She has three serious faults that detract considerably from the book. First, she lacks any sort of academic rigour. Apart from the example above, the sub-heading for one bio states "Killed 2nd September 1862", but the text says he was shot on 30th August & died of his wounds the next day! Of another soldier, we are told his parents "had six children - four boys and three girls..." Such basic errors lead one to wonder how may other less glaring errors are hidden in the book (and what her editor was doing!). She is also prone to making absolute statements for which she presents no evidence, which leads me to the next problem.
She appears to have little understanding of, or empathy with, earlier periods of history, and approaches the subject with an entirely modern mind-set. For example, more than once in the early part of the book, she states that, in post-battle letters, the writers were in shock.Read more ›
good history book brought to life by reading one persons thoughts who was there or about to be in battle and they were not all killed .The letters make you think what would I say to my family my fate was staring me in the face seeing others wounded and dying by me what would i want to say .
Written to keep the readed engrossed in the human side of conflict. I learnt so much about many instances throughout the years, whilst warming to the personal side .
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is haunting to read words written with so much love and longing. In a way those who wrote them live on.Published on 7 Feb. 2014 by Marc Kenton
I can't quite put across in this review how good this book is. It communicates the individual suffering and scale of conflict better than anything I have ever read. Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2014 by PhilD
I thought that this book was terribly boring she reiterates the same points repetitively. I don't normally complain about books but I was so dissapointed. Read morePublished on 20 Nov. 2013 by Drew
Book received in good order and without delay. Purchased as Christmas gift for sister's partner, who has interest in events of World War I, item not read by me.Published on 17 Jun. 2013 by KEN ABBOTT