Review: The Faces of World War I (Arthur)


Cover layout may differ from illustration.

The Faces of World War I. 

Subtitled The Great War in Words and Pictures, this book offers a selection of unusual pictures mixed with the standard photographic fare familiar to the coffee-table book collector. Unfortunately, a couple of design decisions make many of the words difficult to appreciate for the visually disabled (which includes persons with age-related vision changes): White text on a gray background, and a very small font on a beige background just don’t work.

The book is organized chronologically. Some shots were obviously staged by the photographer, and others seem to be stills taken from motion-picture propaganda; nevertheless, the viewer is not spared the hideous consequences of the conflict. The relief (and even gaiety) on the faces of Germans whose capture meant that, for them, the war was over, is thought-provoking.

There is an index, and the picture acknowledgments page will be helpful to researchers. Just don’t plan to present this book to readers who are young minors, the squeamish, or to anyone who may have trouble reading fine print or text with poor contrast.

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