Saturday, September 7, 2019

Dear Great Book Guru, This Saturday September 7 is the Village’s 100th Year Anniversary of the celebration of the return of Sea Cliff’s World War I soldiers.  There will be a parade from Memorial Park to Clifton Park where there will be a picnic dinner, much music, and scrumptious desserts.  I would love to read a book on World War I before I head over for the festivities. Seeker of Knowledge

Dear Seeker of Knowledge, Recently I read a short history (240 pages) of what is ironically called The Great War.  WORLD WAR I by Norman Stone tells the story of this horrific disaster. Fourteen million people died, four empires fell, and the victorious nations were badly damaged.  Stone shows how Europe and eventually the United States were dragged from the world of the nineteenth century to the brutality of the twentieth.  He captures the harshness of trench wars, poison gas, and lasting psychological trauma.  Another book I found very informative was Diana Preston’s A HIGHER FORM OF KILLING. She describes a six-week period that changed modern warfare forever and continues to plague us.  First was the use of poison gas – a scourge still used in attacks today. Then came the sinking of the Lusitania where civilians were targeted, and finally aerial bombing which preceded the destruction of much of Europe during World War II.  All in all, these two books show the incredible cruelty and far reaching effects of this War to End All Wars.  Highly recommended!

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