Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"The Greatest Day in History": Nicholas Best's snapshots of the end of World War I

Nicholas Best's thorough account of the military and diplomatic events immediately leading up to Armistice Day uses many primary sources, bestowing a "you are there" feeling about the momentous and cathartic end to the dreadful, prolonged conflict. Its title is a hefty one, worthy of its subject and scope: The Greatest Day in History: How, on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, the First World War Finally Came to an End.
Best's many photos and vignettes encompass participants like Scots Guards Pvt. Stephen Graham, American artillery Captain and future President Harry Truman, and Serbian Sgt. Maj. Flora Sandes—one of the war’s few women who saw combat.
"A sophisticated presentation of the effects of the Great War's final week on its military and civilian participants" (Publishers Weekly), it also looks at what people like Marlene Dietrich, Erich Maria Remarque, Thomas Mann, Charles de Gaulle, Harry Truman, Eamon de Valera, Gandhi, Eisenhower, Lenin and Corporal Hitler were doing on Armistice Day.
"Best effectively shows how the treatment of Germany sowed seeds for the resentment that culminated in World War II" wrote Kirkus, saying the book would "likely to be a widely consulted primer on the end of World War I."
Ebullient Australian women demonstrate their joy at the war's end.
Originally called Armistice Day, the end of "The War to End All Wars" is known as Remembrance Day in Great Britain and is commemorated on Veteran’s Day in the U.S.
London Pride, 1918
You can read an extract from The Greatest Day in History here. Conga lines, wine and beer drinking, flag waving, soldiers kissing women—see all that and more in this newsreel footage of public Armistice celebrations.

This site features voices of actual people who participated in the conflict, from diplomats to world leaders and other public figures.
Below, the evidence of trench warfare is still evident in this landscape.
Explore myriad other facets of The Great War in our special commemorative Forum. ~Test your knowledge in one of our quizzes and get discounts on an array of award-winning titles!~

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post! The photos of the ebullient people are wonderful! I can't wait to visit your forum and exchange some ideas with other folk interested in the same topics as myself!