Review by Choice Review
Among the WW I chronologies published over the past decade, Burg and Purcell's is unique in the amount of analysis it contains. The main body is a detailed day-by-day account of the war's events, emphasizing the military dimensions but also touching on politics and diplomacy. A chapter is devoted to each year, 1914 through 1918, beginning with a page-long analysis of that year's developments. Daily entries are subdivided by locations (battle sites or cities) where the most important developments occurred. The authors provide considerable analysis of the strategy and tactics of specific battles and include a number of insets, most of which treat various military developments (e.g., trench warfare, the use of poison gas, the role of artillery, communications, command and control, casualties). A biographical section provides brief sketches of the careers of key figures. There is a useful bibliography and a detailed subject index. This almanac has little for specialists on the war's military, diplomatic, and social history, but beginning students and general readers will find it a useful starting point. Recommended for undergraduate and public libraries. W. F. Bell; formerly, University of North Texas
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
From two historians comes this interesting reference work on World War I. The book begins with an introduction by William Manchester, followed by an essay detailing world events leading up to the start of the war. The bulk of the text is arranged chronologically by year and date, listing almost daily occurrences from 1914 through 1918. There are approximately 1,084 entries for days of the war in which significant events occurred. Entries vary from one sentence to a page in length. The work is international in scope, covering political and military happenings from around the world. Scattered throughout the text are around 75 black-and-white photographs and drawings and six maps, appropriately placed. Eighteen sidebars cover topics such as poison gas, artillery, tanks, songs of war, and the literature of the war. These sidebars vary from a half to a full page in length. The chronology is followed by biographies of 74 prominent political and military figures, arranged alphabetically. Each biographical entry provides birth and death years, and about half a page of text. This is followed by a select bibliography that lists approximately 109 monographs. There is really nothing comparable to this volume. Other works, such as The Dictionary of the First World War, by Stephen Pope [RBB F 1 96], have an alphabetical arrangement that provides easy ready-reference access. In contrast, Almanac of World War I allows users to identify diverse significant events that happened on a particular day, and place them in context. Recommended for academic, public, and high-school libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.