Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Military Reading Challenge: Book Review One

As you may remember, about a week or so ago, I signed up to take part in another reading challenge, except this time the I must read three books on military history. Well, I have just finished reading the first book I chose for this challenge.

The book I chose was Silent Night: The Story Of The World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub (Plume: New York, 2001). As is clear from the title, the book's focus is on the 1914 Christmas truce on the Western Front. The author does give a little bit of background information on the war, but he primarily focuses on how the truce began, how the soldiers from both sides reacted to the truce, and how the truce ended. Accounts from memoirs, letters, diaries and regiment histories are used to recount how the truce began and ended. The conclusion to the book speculates on what might have happened if World War One had ended early.

To be honest, I enjoyed reading the book, and I would recommend it to others. I found it very informative, and at times, I started to laugh at some of the recounting on incidents that occurred during the truce. Of course, not everything in the book was funny. I chose this book primarily because I had a great-grandfather who served during World War One in the British Army, and although I don't know very much about his service, this book does help give me a glimpse into what his service experience might have been like. Even though the author does speculate about what might have been, I still believe that reading the conclusion of the book is important. I do not believe that many people realize just how much of an influence World War One has had upon the Twentieth Century and up to the present, and the author does make clear in the conclusion how World War One changed history. Even if someone were only to read the conclusion, I still think this book is worth reading. To be honest, I believe this book would be fairly easy for people to read who are not into reading history books since the book keeps a person's attention.

1 comment:

jmnlman said...

Sounds like an interesting book on a unusual topic.