World War I: A History in Documents (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199731527

Marilyn Shevin-Coetzee; Frans Coetzee
192 Pages
203 x 255 mm
Pub date
Jul 2010
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Offering a comprehensive account of the war as more than a purely military phenomenon, World War I: A History in Documents, Second Edition, also addresses its profound social, cultural, and economic implications. Authors Marilyn Shevin-Coetzee and Frans Coetzee use editorials, memoirs, newspaper articles, poems, and letters to re-create the many facets of the war. Technological developments such as the machine gun and barbed wire brought the world trench warfare, which is vividly depicted here in a firsthand account of then-soldier Benito Mussolini. An Atlantic Monthly essay by the African-American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois draws attention to the conflict's origins in imperialist greed in Africa. A poor French girl's thank-you note to a charitable American demonstrates the plight of Europe's children. And a photo essay of poster art reveals the passion and propaganda aroused on every side. This second edition includes an updated introduction with a note on sources and interpretation, more than forty new documents and images, and updated further reading and website lists. The new documents offer additional material on colonialism in Africa and on specific military aspects of the war, including an excerpt on the coming of war in Germany from Stefan Zweig's autobiography; a description of the Brusilov offensive; the diary of a German deserter; an account of the Christmas truce; soldiers' poetry; a diary from the Gallipoli campaign; Jan Smuts's report on fighting in east Africa; and a report from the battle of Jutland. Several new literary sources, including a poem by Anna Akhmatova, are also included. The new images of satirical German postcards and a broadside of the Proclamation of a Provisional Government of the Irish Republic allow readers to see rare ephemera and build a more textured historical understanding of the war.


What is a Document?
How to Read a Document
Introduction: The Great War
Note on Sources and Interpretation
Chapter One: Into the Abyss
To War?
The Spark
Europe Mobilizes
Holy War
African Roots
Chapter Two: Adjusting to War
Answering the Call
Faith and Endurance
Children in the War and at Play
Chapter Three: Meeting the Challenge
Baptism of Fire
The Conquest of Jerusalem
Women: Doing Their Part
Chapter Four: War Without Mercy
Ignorance and Intolerance
Tragedies of War
Anti-German Sentiment
Chapter Five: Picture Essay
Advertising the War
Chapter Six: Strains
Body and Soul in Turmoil
Dissidence and Disorder
Defending the Russian Revolution
Dislike of the Unlike
Chapter Seven: Coming to Terms
From the Ashes
Loss and Memory
Further Reading
Text Credits
Picture Credits

About the author: 

Marilyn Shevin-Coetzee and Frans Coetzee have taught at Yale and George Washington Universities and have been the recipients of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, Alexander von Humboldt, Fulbright, Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), Mellon, and National Endowment for the Humanities Foundations. They are the authors of six books, the most recent of which is The World in Flames: A World War II Sourcebook (OUP, 2010), and maintain a website on world history.

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