Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War)

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9780091888879: Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (Forgotten Voices/the Great War)

This unique landmark oral history uses first-hand accounts from ordinary men and women who were there. Gripping, poignant, surprising and even humorous, the personal experiences of these soldiers, civilians, marines and medics from both sides tell us what it was really like to live through what was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Skilfully assembled by acclaimed author and historian Max Arthur using the IWM’s remarkable sound archive, Forgotten Voices of the Great War became an instant classic on first publication with close to half a million copies sold.

In 1972, the Imperial War Museum began a momentous and important task. A team of academics, archivists and volunteers set about tracing First World War veterans and interviewing them in order to record the experiences of ordinary individuals in war. Since then the Sound Archive has grown to become the largest and most important oral history collections in the world. It now contains over 34,000 recordings, including interviews with veterans of both world wars – both service personnel and non-combatants – recordings relating to Britain and the Empire in the inter-war period 1919–1939, conflicts since 1945 and the Holocaust.

In 2002, Ebury Press published the first edition of Forgotten Voices of the Great War. It was both the first time many of these recordings had been transcribed and published, and the only comprehensive oral history of the First World War. Twelve further books covering aspects of the Second World War, the Falklands and the Victoria Cross followed, selling well over a million copies to date.

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Review:

Max Arthur's compilation of First World War memories, Forgotten Voices of the Great War, offers a reminder of the scale of human experience within the 1914-18 conflict. Arthur, a military historian best known for his history of the RAF and his account of the Falklands campaign in 1982, has assembled hundreds of excerpts from the sound archives of the Imperial War Museum. Officers, rank-and-file troops, Australians, Americans, war widows, women in the munitions factories, and German soldiers too, all left oral testimony of their experiences, and these interviews provide the basis of the book. Arthur has put them in chronological and campaign order, and provided a general commentary, but beyond that, has left the rich and moving record to speak for itself.

The sheer humdrum ordinariness of modern warfare--the mud and rain, the relentless loss of life and inevitability of death, the pointless routine of attrition--come over in the matter-of-fact recollections of so many. But so too does the humanity and morality of the ordinary soldier--a factor that rather belies the recent emphasis amongst some historians on how soldiers loved to kill. Arthur might have intruded more. No biographical information is given about the owners of these "voices", nor does he say when, where and how this oral testimony was gathered.

These quibbles aside this is a worthwhile read and should encourage people not only to observe a minute's silence on Remembrance Day, but also to spend a few hours in the Imperial War Museum itself. --Miles Taylor

Review:

"An extraordinary and immensely moving book" (Stephen Fry)

"This extraordinary book is crammed with details, conjuring up the atmosphere of war as vividly as the frequent descriptions of appalling violence" (Daily Telegraph)

"The words of the soldiers are as fresh as if they were written yesterday ... extraordinary" (Mail on Sunday)

"These stories are so harrowing, and their witness so precise and devastating" (The Times)

"The stories of these now long-dead vets simply jump off the page" (FHM)

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Book Description Ebury Publishing, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 196 x 126 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1960, the Imperial War Museum began a momentous and important task. A team of academics, archivists and volunteers set about tracing WWI veterans and interviewing them at length in order to record the experiences of ordinary individuals in war. The IWM aural archive has become the most important archive of its kind in the world. Authors have occasionally been granted access to the vaults, but digesting the thousands of hours of footage is a monumental task. Now, forty years on, the Imperial War Museum has at last given author Max Arthur and his team of researchers unlimited access to the complete WWI tapes. These are the forgotten voices of an entire generation of survivors of the Great War. The resulting book is an important, unique and compelling history of WWI in the words of those who experienced it. This is a classic for years to come. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780091888879

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Book Description Ebury Publishing, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 196 x 126 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1960, the Imperial War Museum began a momentous and important task. A team of academics, archivists and volunteers set about tracing WWI veterans and interviewing them at length in order to record the experiences of ordinary individuals in war. The IWM aural archive has become the most important archive of its kind in the world. Authors have occasionally been granted access to the vaults, but digesting the thousands of hours of footage is a monumental task. Now, forty years on, the Imperial War Museum has at last given author Max Arthur and his team of researchers unlimited access to the complete WWI tapes. These are the forgotten voices of an entire generation of survivors of the Great War. The resulting book is an important, unique and compelling history of WWI in the words of those who experienced it. This is a classic for years to come. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780091888879

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Book Description Ebury Press. Book Condition: New. 2014. New Ed. Paperback. Offers accounts from ordinary men and women who were there. This book features personal experiences of these soldiers, civilians, marines and medics from both sides tell us what it was really like to live through what was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Num Pages: 336 pages, 16. BIC Classification: 1DBK; BG; HBJD1; HBWN; JHMP; JWX. Category: (J) Children / Juvenile. Dimension: 196 x 128 x 22. Weight in Grams: 234. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780091888879

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Book Description Ebury Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There, Max Arthur, In 1960, the Imperial War Museum began a momentous and important task. A team of academics, archivists and volunteers set about tracing WWI veterans and interviewing them at length in order to record the experiences of ordinary individuals in war. The IWM aural archive has become the most important archive of its kind in the world. Authors have occasionally been granted access to the vaults, but digesting the thousands of hours of footage is a monumental task. Now, forty years on, the Imperial War Museum has at last given author Max Arthur and his team of researchers unlimited access to the complete WWI tapes. These are the forgotten voices of an entire generation of survivors of the Great War. The resulting book is an important, unique and compelling history of WWI in the words of those who experienced it. This is a classic for years to come. Bookseller Inventory # B9780091888879

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Book Description Ebury Press, 2014. Book Condition: New. 2014. New Ed. Paperback. Offers accounts from ordinary men and women who were there. This book features personal experiences of these soldiers, civilians, marines and medics from both sides tell us what it was really like to live through what was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Num Pages: 336 pages, 16. BIC Classification: 1DBK; BG; HBJD1; HBWN; JHMP; JWX. Category: (J) Children / Juvenile. Dimension: 196 x 128 x 22. Weight in Grams: 234. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780091888879

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