Review: Christmas Truce (Brown & Seaton)

Christmas Truce: The Western Front December 1914

This is the book which Weintraub cites as the “seminal” work on the topic, and with good reason: on closer inspection of Weintraub’s book, it appears to have largely followed Brown & Seaton’s treatment of the subject, because most of the new material in Weintraub is his “What if?” final chapter. Apparently Weintraub had strong feelings about the Great War, but only enough to produce the essay that constitutes that last chapter, so in order to get his essay published, he seems to have pumped it up with excerpts from Brown & Seaton’s detailed work, a lily which he gilded with a few additional rather inconsequential findings of his own, drawn largely from later popular entertainment sources.

Be that as it may, Brown & Seaton’s Christmas Truce is definitely the best book about the controversial events of December, 1914, to have on your shelf. Fascinating detail, well-documented, and nicely presented in hardcover with a dust jacket, it would also make a good gift for a Great War armchair general. Highly recommended.

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