Book Review by Bob Wyatt.
This book deals with the Aftermath as it was being experienced by men and women all over the world, and the editors have drawn upon the expertise of scholars to provide a snapshot of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Contributions come from a wide range of historians: Bullitt Lowry on negotiating the signing of the Armistice, Heinz on the German perspective, Allain Berneden on the French. Belgium, America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Japan and India are also dealt with by experts on those countries. There are pieces on eastern Europe and the fatal sequels, Bulgaria in defeat, the Turkish Empire, the Arabs, Italy and Austria-Hungary also get interesting essays. John Bourne covers the consequences of the Armistice, Hugh Cecil the literature.
The changing meaning of the Armistice is summed up by Matthew Richardson. He considers why commemoration is a particularly British and Commonwealth phenomenon and why it means so much more here than in France and America. He also considers its fluctuating social significance, charting its rise, fall, and rise again over the years. The book is worth getting for that chapter alone.
It helps us to understand the true significance of Armistice Day over nearly 100 years.
[This review first appeared in the journal of The Western Front Association Stand To! Issue 58 April 2000. This and other copies of Stand To! are available to read online to members by signing in using their Member Login]
At the Eleventh Hour. Reflections, Hopes and Anxieties at the Closing of the Great War. 1918
H Ceco and P Liddle (eds).
Leo Cooper, £35.00
ISBN 0 85052 609 4