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01st November 2009

Old Member writes award-winning re-examination of WWI

Alex Watson (1997, Modern History) is the author of a new comparative history of how German and British soldiers endured the horror of the First World War. “Enduring the Great War” has been described as “superbly researched” and “a must read for all students of World War I… [it] belongs on the shelf of any scholar who aspires to be current on the literature of 20th century Europe”.

Drawing on contemporary letters and diaries from soldiers on both sides, as well as psychiatric reports and official documents, the book offers new insights into the internal ordeals of the men who fought in the War, their fears and their motivations to carry on. It concludes with a new interpretation of the conclusion of the War, challenging the consensus amongst historians about the reasons for German collapse in 1918.

It has been published as a paperback this month, and has already won the Institute of Contemporary History and Wiener Library’s Fraenkel Prize.

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