The Beauty And The Sorrow: An Intimate History Of The First World War. Peter Englund/Profile Books.£25.
TO FIND a book this well written and detailed about the First World War, written by a professor from a country that was not involved, is both rare and refreshing.
Swedish academic Peter Englund takes the words gathered from 20 participants from various countries, and lets the reader see the mosaic of conflicting thoughts, ideas, fears and hopes of a generation that would be butchered and damned in the trenches, in the air and in the depths of the sea.
His use of diaries and letters gives the real edge to this superb work; the words of a 12-year-old child jar against the voices of horror heard in the memories of soldiers and sailors.
All the players have a unique perspective in this epic tale. It's thought-provoking and superb.