When you listen over many years to hundreds of people, from all walks of life, talking confidentially about their relationships, patterns suggest themselves even while each person’s individuality remains vivid.
“It’ll be over by Christmas”, as we know, is the blackly humorous phrase that encapsulates all the miscalculations made about the First World War – and perhaps any war. The show takes us through the history and heroism, the absurdity and tragedy of that period in Western history that marks us even today.
This is a book that everyone should read. How often does one get to say that – and not least when the title might suggest that the author merely means to expand our thin acquaintance with a sixty year old conflict, brief, remote, and wasn’t it all American?