The First World War

I read about a quarter of Sir Martin Gilbert’s The First World War before something very like boredom stopped me in my tracks. It’s certainly not Gilbert’s writing — he manages to wrangle a great deal of information into clarity without entirely sacrificing its complexity. The problem is the thing that made that particular war so awful: It was the same stuff, different day, for years. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, WWI is insanity in action. But reading the same stuff done over and over again is…boring.

I also think I quit reading because the pointless, criminal waste of all that life makes me sad.

And now I don’t know what I’m going to read. I have a bad case of the reading itchies.


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