Saturday, February 8, 2014

1914: the year the world ended. Paul Ham


This is the second book of Paul Ham's that I've read. What I find with Ham is that he always seems to bring a twist or correct a preconception that I may have had on a subject.

In 1914 my preconception was changed regarding the start of the war. My impression after reading the book was the war was always going to happen. Ham emphasis was that the causes where greater than just the Baulkins conflict and the assassination of King Ferdanand. The Baulkins were just the trigger. Europe it's aristocracy and military where heading in a war direction for years prior to the outbreak of war.

I was expecting the book to be more about he war, instead I think Ham got lost in its causes and the build up to war. Well over half the book, I was expecting a chapter at he start. In that respect I think the title 1914 was slightly misleading.

I think 1914 will age as a book. There were a few comparisons to modern events, which in 50 years time non historians will wonder at these references.

It was a good book. It brought me back to poerty that I loved, Sassoon and Wilfred Owens. And Bengimin Brittens War Requim. It also brought me back to a time when I first started nursing 20 years ago. The last of those World War One veterans and their memory's were about to be extinguished forever. I was lucky to have listened to their experiences. Of what it was like been recruited in Bendigo and then sent off to a far away land and it's horrors. A lot different today with the backpackers experience.



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