Re­live WWI, a hun­dred years after it ended, at your li­brary

The Bradenton Herald (Sunday) - - Local - BY DAVID BREAKFIELD

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

One hun­dred years ago on Nov. 11, World War I ended with a stale­mate.

The date was later called Ar­mistice Day. The war has also been called the “Great War,” be­cause up to that time, there had never been such a tremen­dous con­flict.

It be­gun when Arch­duke

Franz Fer­di­nand, heir to the Aus­tro-Hun­gar­ian throne and his wife So­phie, Duchess of Ho­hen­berg, were both as­sas­si­nated by a Ser­bian na­tion­al­ist in Sara­jevo (now Bos­nia-Herze­gov­ina) on June 26, 1914.

Aus­tria-Hun­gary de­clared war in Au­gust, and be­cause of in­tri­cate and clan­des­tine al­liances made over the years, nearly ev­ery coun­try in Eu­rope was in­volved in the war.

It was the first mod­ern war: aerial (air­plane and zep­pelin), naval, and sub­marines war­fare, tanks and poi­son gas made their first ap­pear­ances.

The war fea­tured many bat­tles, such as the Somme, and the ex­ploits of in­di­vid­u­als such as Baron Manfred von Richthofen, bet­ter known as the “Red Baron,” who was famed and even re­spected by his en­e­mies for his mastery of the skies.

At the end of the war, hun­dreds of thou­sands of sol­diers had lost their lives, lead­ing Ernest Hem­ing­way to coin the phrase, “The Lost Gen­er­a­tion”.

If you’re in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about the war, your li­brary can help.

A good place to start is Joseph Per­sico’s “The 11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour: Ar­mistice Day, 1918, World War I and its Vi­o­lent Cli­max,” in which he ex­plores the fight­ing that went on in the wan­ing hours be­fore the ar­mistice.

Some 11,000 men were slaugh­tered for the pos­si­bil­ity of ad­vance­ment and glory for ca­reer of­fi­cers, not to men­tion African-Amer­i­can sol­diers forced to fight for a coun­try that didn’t treat them as equals, all to pun­ish the en­emy.

In “The Van­quished: Why the First World War Failed to End,” Robert Ger­warth dis­cusses the fall­out of the war, with new rick­ety states com­ing into be­ing, and deal­ing with the power vac­u­ums that were cre­ated with the fall of four em­pires (Ger­many, Aus­tri­aHun­gary, Rus­sia, Ot­toman).

State vi­o­lence that oc­curred im­me­di­ately after the war is also ex­plored which in­cluded pograms, rev­o­lu­tions, and mass ex­pul­sions, lead­ing to the even­tual rise of fas­cism and the Sec­ond

World War.

Eu­gene Ro­gan’s “The Fall of the Ot­tomans: The Great War in the Mid­dle East” delves into the ef­fects of the war in the Mid­dle East, a topic not as well-known as the Euro­pean con­flict.

Here, the Ot­toman Em­pire was col­laps­ing, the de­ple­tion of its army due to the Balkan Wars (19121913) fought just be­fore the First World War, all lead­ing to the par­ti­tion­ing of the for­mer Ot­toman lands as they ap­pear to­day and a cause of the con­flicts that con­tin­u­ally plague the re­gion.

Other items of in­ter­est are Graphic War­fare’s “Ar­mistice Day,” a graphic novel that brings the war to life vis­ually, as well as the DVD’s “World War 1 in Color” and the His­tory Chan­nel’s “World War One: The Great War.”

Your li­brary is on­line at www.my­mana­tee.org/ li­brary

Speak­ing Vol­umes, writ­ten by Manatee County Pub­lic Li­brary Sys­tem staff mem­bers, is pub­lished each Sun­day in the Braden­ton Her­ald. David Breakfield is a ref­er­ence li­brar­ian at the Down­town Cen­tral Li­brary.

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