An intimate narrative history of World War I told through the stories of twenty men and women from around the globe – a powerful, illuminating, heart-rendering picture of what the war was really like.
In this masterful book, renowned historian Peter Englund describes this epoch-defining event by weaving together accounts of the mostly average men and women who experienced it. Drawing on the diaries, journals, and letters of twenty individuals from Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Venezuela, and the United States, Englund uses their varied perspectives to describe not a course of events but a ”world of feeling.”
Composed in short chapters that move between the home front and the front lines, The Beauty and the Sorrow brings to life people whose voices have until now remained unheard and lets them speak for all who were shaped in some way by the Great War.
In this fascinating and highly original historical piece of literary non-fiction, PhD. Peter Englund chooses a mosaic technique with an eye-witness perspective to illuminate an almost forgotten war while at the same time making evident that the conflict is still alive – only branched off to other wars.
The Beauty and the Sorrow is an unforgettable account that makes you feel what it was like during the war and at the same time makes you wish only to awake from the awful nightmare. This is how a war should be depicted.
Bulgaria/St. Kliment Ohridski University Press
Brazil/Companhia das Letras