Cover image for Fields of memory : a testimony to the Great War
Fields of memory : a testimony to the Great War
Roze, Anne.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Champs de la mémoire. English
Publication Information:
London : Cassell, 1999.
Physical Description:
232 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 30 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D541 .R6913 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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From mobilization to the Armistice in 1918, this volume recounts the key events of World War I, including the battles of the Marne, Ypres, Flanders, Verdun, Somme and Passchendaele. It draws on a variety of contemporary material, including journals, letters, newspaper reports and the writings of key literary figures of the time, such as Wilfred Owen, Erich Maria Remarque, Andre Maurois and Siegfried Sassoon. The history is illustrated with a combination of photographs and pictures from before the war, during it, and showing the battlefields as they are today. John Foley's serene photographs of the present day landscape contrast with the wartime pictures, to create this wartime record.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The tide of World War I books is rising as its centennial approaches and we more fully realize the havoc it wrought on European civilization. This large-format volume is a worthy addition to the flow, marrying concise narrative to well-chosen graphic material from the war's era and superb contemporary photographs of the sites and memorials of the war. The coverage is almost exclusively of the western front, and the emphasis is definitely on the French, with the closing war years of 1917 and 1918, when the British and Americans came to the fore, comparatively briefly treated. Within those limitations, the book is of high quality. Two photographs alone are almost worth the price of the book. One shows a small lake in a woodland glade: it was once a crater gouged out by a gigantic mine. The other shows a monument to some, but not all, British soldiers missing in action; their number is still greater than that of the total American dead in either Vietnam or Korea. --Roland Green

Library Journal Review

It is fitting at the close of the 20th century that some thought be given to the initial calamity that set the century upon its destructive course. The First World War by Prior (history, Australian Defense Force Acad.) and Wilson (history, emeritus, Univ. of Adelaide) provides a fine narration of the military course of the war on land (a companion volume in Cassell's "History of Warfare" series will treat the war at sea). It concentrates on the European fronts, East and West, and on the strategy and outcomes of the battles between the major participants. The authors show a decidedly pro-British perspective, giving less-than-equal treatment to French and American contributions to victory. Although there is a good chronology, the battlefield maps contain more detail than needed for such a general narrative. This strictly military history provides some debatable conclusions on the war's genesis and a paean to the justness of the Allied cause. It may be in answer, intended or not, to Niall Ferguson's provocative The Pity of War (LJ 3/15/99) or even John Keegan's stark The First World War (LJ 4/15/99). Roze, a classical literature professor in France, has produced a more thoughtful work in her Fields of Memory. True to its title, it is a testament in words and images to those who suffered and died in the Great War. Its fluid story is extensively illustrated with period photographs as well as recent ones of the French and Belgian countryside, still littered with ruins. Personal narratives of French participants are frequently cited to give life to the dead and help individualize the war experience. It is not scholarly like Jay Winter's Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning (Cambrige Univ., 1995), but it has much more to offer than its coffee-table exterior would lead one to expect. Both books are recommended for public and academic libraries.--James Tasato Mellone, Hofstra Univ., Hempstead, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.