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Most Boring/disliked WW1 Book

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Many of us have posted on the Forum regarding our Favourite WW1 Books...here is a question for Forum Members,in your opinion which is the most boring/disliked Book that you have read concerning WW1...??????

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We have been through this one several times but it's easily John Mosier an American who is not an historian and the Myth of the Great War in which he explains 1st Marne was a Greman victory as were Vredun and others and all credit for victory goes to the US.

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Whereas not as bad as THe Pity of War, Gregor Dallas' book 1918 is fighting for last place in my library. Cultural ignorance, reference his own books, spelling and editing errors all come to mind before his unsupported arguments and lack of offering anything new.

Andy

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I've got a bit of a downer on Gary Sheffield, and as something of a novice to the study of the First World War, I found Sheffield's work plodding, and not what it said on the packaging. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and moved on to 'The Somme' after this was recommended by a mate who is a lecturer, but I was again disappointed by the lack of insight he offered, and his poor attempt at a revisionist approach--which, of course, is open to multiple interpretations--and I said I would never consider anything again. However, I'm hoping to buy 'Facing Armageddon', and I understand his work is featured here, so what do I do, I just can't ignore him. Third time lucky, I suppose--but I doubt it

Cheers,

Dave

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My vote also goes to The Myth of the Great War. I bought it in Denver and snorted and hurumphed throughout reading it. I finished it, just to say that I did....but totally disagreed with all of it.

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We have been through this one several times but it's easily John Mosier an American who is not an historian and the Myth of the Great War

Most disliked?

Mosier's book is streets ahead of anything else.

John

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Surprised Winter's Haig: A Reassessment hasnt been mentioned.

For me, I was unimpressed by Niellands Great War Generals but perhaps I should give it another go, or his Attrition. Struggled with Corrigan's writing in Sepoy in the Trenches and unlikely to try anything else by him in the near future.

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1918 The Year of Victories By Martin Marix Evans. Bought it for a couple of quid in a bargain book store...................Should have kept my money in my pocket.

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I've got a bit of a downer on Gary Sheffield, and as something of a novice to the study of the First World War, I found Sheffield's work plodding, and not what it said on the packaging. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and moved on to 'The Somme' after this was recommended by a mate who is a lecturer, but I was again disappointed by the lack of insight he offered, and his poor attempt at a revisionist approach--which, of course, is open to multiple interpretations--and I said I would never consider anything again. However, I'm hoping to buy 'Facing Armageddon', and I understand his work is featured here, so what do I do, I just can't ignore him. Third time lucky, I suppose--but I doubt it

Cheers,

Dave

Hi Dave, :)

Sorry can't agree, thought it was a pretty good effort, and the Somme is my real area of interest !!

My vote goes to The Donkeys by Alan Clark. I've never read a book by a so called Historian that was so full of holes.

Cheers

Tim.

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Theres a Devil in the drum got rave reviews but it left me bored to tears I ended up giving it away. Deaths men on the other hand I read it over and over and over....

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Sorry Dave, I rather like Gary Sheffield's work I thought that Forgotten Victory was excellent (although The Somme was hardly ground breakingly brilliant, its ok).

Sorry Jonathan, I have to admit that I like Niellands The Great War Generals because it is a fairly good reference work on the British effort on the Western Front (this Division was doing this on this day sort of thing). Although the arguments are not so clear and it lacked a great deal.

My most disliked, probably has to be British Butchers and Bunglers by Laffin.

Jon

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Hello Tim,

Keine problem, but the main problem I have with his work is that it is pedestrian and dull, although Sheffield makes great use of the maps and plans, and goes to some length to explain their meaning. I cant help feeling though that his publishers should have left the illustrations in black and white--it would have give the kids something to colour in. :D

Cheers,

Dave

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"Tommy"...I found it disjointed and really hard work.

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Pals

Interesting, so far this thread has already mentioned one of my favourites and also one of my most hated reads.

Cold non-summer months leave me frozen, but, people from South Yorks appeal greatly.

Rgds

Andy

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Hello Tim,

Keine problem, but the main problem I have with his work is that it is pedestrian and dull, although Sheffield makes great use of the maps and plans, and goes to some length to explain their meaning. I cant help feeling though that his publishers should have left the illustrations in black and white--it would have give the kids something to colour in. :D

Cheers,

Dave

Hi Dave, :)

Ooooooh you can be so harsh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

From my point of view, it breaks the battle up really well, half way between a general overview for the casual observer and someone with a more in depth interest !!

It maybe me, but I found his approach really useful !!!!!!

But as is always said it depends on your point of view and I can imagine it's not everyone's cup of tea !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers

Tim.

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The Regeneration Series By pat Barker,never read so much Old Tosh in all my Life.I just cannot read any Fiction about The Great War.

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A good tactic there Andy,

I had to re-read the thread to encrypt your likes and dislikes, and would it be 'Tommy' by Richard Holmes, or Winter's 'Haig', in that order.

Tim, I didn't get where I am today--which is precisely nowhere--without been harsh :)

Cheers,

Dave

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I'd agree that some cited here aren't the best (Winter, Laffin, Neillands eg), but I wouldn't rate them as boring or dislike-able.

Heresy I know, but I think Strachan takes the "boring" title - but only for about a third of "To Arms". His analysis of the economic factors was simply impenetrable to me. The rest is excellent.

Disliked? Mosier by a long, long way. It has so many facets, its hard to choose what is the most irritating aspect. I think his smugness takes the biscuit "I know so much better than these fools. And you fools as well". Don't care that he's not an historian. Do care that he's an ass.

But an honourable mention to Richard Townsend Bickers "The First Air War". The most bigotted and contemptible viewpoint I've ever had the misfortune to read. WE Johns is less biased.

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Many of us have posted on the Forum regarding our Favourite WW1 Books...here is a question for Forum Members,in your opinion which is the most boring/disliked Book that you have read concerning WW1...??????

Anything written from the position of Generals and Politicians, as were too many early books.

Gunner Bailey

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I'd probably agree with Jonathan on Neillands' "Great War Generals" - one of the few books I gave up on half way through. I found other of his books boring and turgid, too.

Max Arthur's "Forgotten Voices of the Great War" is a pet hate of mine - a rotten cut and paste job; no context, no explanation, several obvious mistakes in description of the veterans' units, etc - a really poor book.

Oh, and Warner's "Battle of Loos": much-discussed on this Forum, it is everything a history shouldn't be - inaccurate!

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Dave

One right, one wrong and er, wrong order. BTW anything by Winter leaves me stone cold.

Rgds

Andy

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Anything written from the position of Generals and Politicians, as were too many early books.

Gunner Bailey

In Total and utter agreement with you on this one.

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Max Arthur's "Forgotten Voices of the Great War" is a pet hate of mine - a rotten cut and paste job; no context, no explanation, several obvious mistakes in description of the veterans' units, etc - a really poor book.

Steve - my turn to agree with you! You are right about the make up of this book but it provides an excellent way to identify most of the participants in the BBC's The Great War!

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But an honourable mention to Richard Townsend Bickers "The First Air War". The most bigotted and contemptible viewpoint I've ever had the misfortune to read. WE Johns is less biased.

Duckman

I'm with you there, mate - it's dreadful!

Another load of rubbish has to be Stanley Weintraub's Silent Night: the Story of the World War I Christmas Truce. It's full of the author's thoughts on what might have happened, and a bit sketchy on what did happen.

Cheers

Gareth

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Steven,

Please dont go agreeing with Jon, he'll start to get the impression he's right!

I feel I have to stick up for Neillands and his 'Generals' book, whilst not saying its a great book, and does go over the top too much in his revisionist trait, I do feel it is worth a blod all the way through.

I also think that all should read 'Donkeys' just so you can swing the other way, as they say. Never read a book onb the Great War that I did not feel was worth it, even if it made me realsie there are truely some twits out there.

That said having read some threads on books, I have not picked up some due to that so may have missed out, what a shame!

Steven I have to say that 'Loos' by Warner is worth the price for the personal accounts alone and whilst I realsie that some of his narrative is in accurate, as a first small intro to Loos I found it a good bouncing off point to get me going along the right lines, though probably know I would recommend the Battleground books as a starting point.

And whilst I am here defending all, some of the Generals accounts are good, whilst still reflecting the mood of that person and trying to keep/restore his reputation. Sir Willaim Marshall's book 'Memories of four Fronts' is a good honest read in my opinion.

regards

Arm

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