World War I Commemorated by the Publishing World

One of our November holidays, Veterans Day, falls on November 11. In the Commonwealth countries it is called Remembrance Day and Jour de l'Armistice in France and Belgium. Regardless of the name, why do many countries celebrate this same holiday on this same day? Because it commemorates the date that ended World War I (or “The Great War” as it was called at the time) on the European Western Front: November 11, 1918.

The war did continue on in Eastern Europe and other parts of the former Ottoman Empire. However, for the United States, the British Empire, the French and the Belgians, that first horrific modern war was over! One of the deadliest conflicts in history, it resulted in major political changes in Europe and influenced many nation-state revolutions. Despite another name that was used at the time, “The War to End All Wars,” it also set the stage for World War II.

After the Second World War, the holiday began to commemorate all veterans of all wars, as so many people lost their lives in both World War I and World War II.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginnings of the First World War. It began soon after the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the Austria-Hungarian Empire, on June 28, 1914. Due to complicated nation loyalty treaties, approximately one month later, most of Europe (and the peoples of their colonies) fell into a war of staggering destruction and tragedy. It is estimated that more than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died as a result of “The Great War.” The U.S. did not enter the conflict until 1917. Nevertheless, over 300,000 soldiers died or were wounded in battle in only 17 months at war on the Western Front of Europe.

Because of the centennial of the war’s beginning, there is a bountiful collection of new materials published this year. Below are a sampling of the best that our libraries have to offer in a variety of formats. 

Battle History:

Hundred Days: The Campaign That Ended World War I by Nick Lloyd

Wounded: A New History of the Western Front in World War I by Emily Mayhew
Wounded: A New History of the Western Front in World War I by Emily Mayhew 
Photo Essay:

Audio Book-radio essays:

NPR American Chronicles: World War I by NPR & Rachel Martin

Graphic Novel:

Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics edited by Chris Duffy


A Soldier on the Southern Front: The Classic Italian Memoir of World War 1 by Emilio Lussu


Hundred Days: The Campaign That Ended World War I by Nick Lloyd
100 Years of WWI by the History Channel

The Home Front:

The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade by Philip Jenkins 

Women in World War I (Remembering World War I) by Nick Hunter

A dog who went to the Western Front as a mascot and returned home a hero: 

Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation by Ann Bausum
Kim L.


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