Top positive review
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Evocative, illuminating, poignant reportage
on 11 August 2014
Nigel Fountain has made a very good job of assembling choice bits of Guardian First World War coverage. He provides a balanced sample which includes the must-have big stories alongside snapshot type reports, which are especially good on the home front and the reception of news. Of course this is far from being a history of the war and The Guardian got a lot wrong, particularly on the Russian Revolution, but its coverage was well-informed and, unsurprisingly, liberal throughout. That said, it's interesting that in covering the western front, hatred for the Germans does surface quite a lot. Again, in the circumstances that's not really surprising I suppose, the tabloids were probably infinitely worse, and overall the newspaper's attitude towards Germany was that it would be admirable once it was purged of 'Prussianism'. The clipped, down to earth style of writing favoured by the paper makes the collection highly accessible - there are no endless, adjective-clogged sentences here.