The lessons kids are taught in school vary from generation to generation, and even state to state, but the one fact everyone can tell you is that WWI started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It’s the first thing teachers discuss when they start talking about the Great War. And since we’re talking about it, why is it called the Great War, anyway?
As an avid reader of military history, I enjoy reading about all of the world’s battles, including World War I history books. But one thing has always puzzled me: Why aren’t there more books about World War I? It seems like for every book about the Great War, there are fifty 50 about WWII or the Civil War. I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer, so it must be a case of quality over quantity. So for history fans, or people who want to learn more about the world’s battles, here are 10 of the best books on World War I. They cover several important aspects of the war, and will even help you learn why it’s called the Great War.
Best describes the key players and events and uses remarks from important eyewitness to explain what made the end of World War I possible. Using this information, he recreates how the Allies granted an armistice to the new German government and at 11:00 on November 11, 1918, the fighting finally ceased.
This is the story of four trailblazing American journalists who set out following the uneasy peace after World War I to pursue global news in Palestine, China, Moscow, and Berlin. Cott explains how the coverage these foreign correspondents provided and the information they related to the American people helped explain what led up to the second world war.
This is a fascinating theory about the Great War. In this book, Ferguson argues that World War I was entirely England's fault. He states that because of human error, the war was not inevitable, but was caused by mistakes made on England's part that eventually warranted American involvement.
by Nick Lloyd
This is the definitive account of one of the greatest tragedies in the first world war. Passchendaele, a small Flemish village, was the site of one of the deadliest battles of the war, when in the summer of 1917, upwards of 500,000 men were killed or wounded. Lloyd explains how hubris caused this seemingly unwinnable battle in Belgium between the British and the Germans.
by Wendy Moore
And this is the wildly interesting but little-known story of the first women doctors who were allowed to attend to male patients. Doctors Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson ran such a reputable establishment for treating soldiers in Paris in 1914, the British Army asked them to open a hospital in London, which was nicknamed the "Suffragettes' Hospital."
Using new resources, Morton-Jack tells the often overlooked story of the 1.5 million Indian soldiers who served the British Empire in World War I. Despite their poor treatment from both enemies and allies, and their dismissal by many as being racially inferior, the Indian Army played a crucial role in the eventual Allied victory. Their story should be told more often.
This is a widely acclaimed overview in which Stevenson asserts that World War I was not an inevitable event but that it was a series of deliberate risks made by politicians that led to the Great War, and that it was a continued acceptance of the casualties that allowed it to go on for four years.
This is a masterful account of how the Austro-Hungarian army's less-than-stellar participation in World War I led to the collapse of the Hapsburg Empire. The army entered battle completely unprepared in both size and equipment for what faced them, and it was almost immediately apparent how events would turn out for them.
And this is a riveting account of a little-known event in World War I. In 1914, the Russians attacked the fortress city of Przemysl, the Hapsburg Empire's most important stronghold against invasion, and after six long months, it finally fell, changing the course of the first world war.
What to Read Next
Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor and velocireader in the great state of Maine, where she reads 500-600 books a year and lives with her three cats, who hate to read.