World War I was initially known as “the war to end all wars”. Alas, it would prove a misnomer. In its wake, empires were dissolved, new states were created, and fractured political relations persisted. As brutal as this war was, its outcome led to further instability that heralded the arrival of the Second World War, and it’s sometimes overshadowed by the more devastating conflict that was to come. However, WWI is an engrossing topic in its own right.
Consider the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the heir presumptive to the throne of Austria-Hungary. How did the death of a man set to inherit an empire that no longer exists today set in motion a global conflict that would draw in numerous other nations and lead to millions of deaths?
Or ponder the WWI record of Harry Truman. Legally blind in one eye and initially turned away from a military career, Truman would not only go on to enlist, but jumpstart a political career and lead the US as president and commander in chief during WWII. Would the world be the same if it weren’t for his wartime experience?
Beyond the well-known figures, our World War I stories will help you discover new heroes, like the Harlem Hellfighters, an all-Black regiment, and Edith Cavell, a nurse who risked her life on the battlefield.
Nonfiction and historical fiction books alike bring a vividness to the trenches. If you’re in the mood to watch history unfold on screen, why not explore the best WWI films? We’ve got everything you need to explore every angle of this devastating global conflict.
Expand your horizons with books that explore the places, people, and objects that shaped human history.
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The German soldier nodded in thanks, then disappeared.