Review: The Imperial War Museum Book of The First World War (Brown)


The Imperial War Museum Book of The First World War.

Excellent overview that takes a topical approach, instead of the usual chronological survey. This scheme better illustrates the detail available in the Museum’s collection (despite its being top-heavy in Western Front artifacts). Contents include:

  • The March to War
  • The Western Front
  • The War at Sea
  • The War in the Air
  • The Sideshows
  • Women at War
  • The Civilians’ War
  • The War Experience

Chapters are prefaced with brief timelines, and although the indexing is minimal, the contributors are comprehensively credited. Photographs are identified by their museum inventory numbers, which can assist with ordering copies or arranging to license their reproduction.

The book was printed in 1993, and a few of the photographs have become iconic since then, but the text is strong in its unique excerpts from diaries, letters, and other period documents – even the German viewpoint is not neglected. There’s been something of value, for my research purposes, in every section. Highly recommended.

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