Survivors’ stories do live on in Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War, a compilation of 20 personal accounts of the war across all occupations and nationalities. Infantrymen, nurses, civilians and schoolchildren recorded their experiences and author Peter Englund paraphrased or quoted them directly from letters, diaries and memoirs. Initial enthusiasm for the war gave way to shock, bitterness and exhaustion as the war dragged on with no clear winners.
If you would prefer a visual history, the Library has many excellent DVDs: First World War, Great War, Last day of World War I, WorldWar I: American Legacy and World War I in Color. We have outstanding feature films dealing with the war as well: All Quiet on the Western Front, Gallipoli, King and Country and Paths of Glory all depict the futility of war. Two French films, Life and Nothing But and Very Long Engagement demonstrate the toll taken on those left to mourn.