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The Long Shadow The Great War and the Twentieth Century by David Reynolds

The Long Shadow The Great War and the Twentieth Century

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Sue Baker's view...

David Reynolds shows us how the Great War has slipped into history, the version that we share, the poetry, the trenches, the mud overshadows the reality of the war and the effect it had on future politics and history. As an island, the war for Britain was mostly “over there” distancing us from much of the aftermath. Here in The Long Shadow we learn of the greater scheme of things in this fine reinterpretation of history.

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Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. In the first part of his book, Reynolds looks perceptively at the impact of the Great War on the two decades that followed the peace treaties of 1919, as they would have been seen by contemporaries rather than through the prism of the Second World War. In the second part, titled ‘Refractions’, he considers our more recent relationship with the Great War, how we remember it in film, poetry and literature, from Oh What a Lovely War, through the work of Wilfred Owen and Pat Barker to Lutyens’ Thiepval memorial.
~ The Good Book Guide


The Long Shadow The Great War and the Twentieth Century by David Reynolds

In Britain we have lost touch with the Great War. Our overriding sense now is of a meaningless, futile bloodbath in the mud of Flanders -- of young men whose lives were cut off in their prime for no evident purpose. But by reducing the conflict to personal tragedies, however moving, we have lost the big picture: the history has been distilled into poetry. In The Long Shadow, critically acclaimed author David Reynolds seeks to redress the balance by exploring the true impact of 1914-18 on the 20th century. Some of the Great War's legacies were negative and pernicious but others proved transformative in a positive sense. Exploring big themes such as democracy and empire, nationalism and capitalism and re-examining the differing impacts of the War on Britain, Ireland and the United States, The Long Shadow throws light on the whole of the last century and demonstrates that 1914-18 is a conflict that Britain, more than any other nation, is still struggling to comprehend. Stunningly broad in its historical perspective, The Long Shadow is a magisterial and seismic re-presentation of the Great War.

About the Author

David Reynolds won the Wolfson Prize in 2004 for his superb book on Churchill, and is the author of Summits (2007) and most recently America: Empire of Liberty (2009). He has made critically acclaimed films and series for both BBC4 and BBC2 including films on Churchill and Attlee.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st September 2014


David Reynolds

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Simon & Schuster Ltd


544 pages


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First World War
General & world history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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