Tuesday, August 19, 2014


2014 is the hundredth anniversary of World War I. Called the Great War before it became apparent  there would be more global wars, World War I began in July 1914 and ended in November 1918. What started with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo became an international conflict. Look to the shelves of the Monrovia Public Library for some fascinating reading and viewing on the topic that continues to inspire writers, artists and filmmakers.

Those looking to learn about the facts of the war might want to read some powerful non-fiction that captures the panorama of events and personalities. An Illustrated History of the First World War is by military historian John Keegan.  

The Making of the Great War by Ian Beckett was written this year and follows the war’s repercussions that still have an impact today.  

Knights of the Air by Ezra Bowen relates the history of the first war to use airplanes and modern technology.

Some of the greatest fiction classics are about World War I and how it changed those who fought in it. The novels include All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos, Random Harvest by James Hilton, The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham and Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. 
Three very diverse DVDs about World War I are The African Queen, the classic with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, the glorious Lawrence of Arabia, and the Downtown Abbey series. Each takes place in a different part of the world, yet each presents portraits of how the war affected individuals. 

Huntington Library is celebrating the 100th anniversary with an exhibit of original posters, created by American artists, meant to encourage the United States to enter the war. Titled Your Country Calls! Posters of the First World War, the exhibit includes the famous Uncle Sam I Want You poster.  www.huntington.org

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