Review Blog

Apr 24 2018

Armistice by Ruth Starke

cover image

Ill. by David Kennett. Working Title Press, 2018. ISBN 9781921504914
Highly recommended. On Sunday, November 11 2018 at 11.00am the world will stop and remember that after a long, gruelling, deadly war that shaped both history and nations alike, the guns finally stopped a century ago.
The centrepiece of the Australian commemoration at the Australian War Memorial will be the installation of 62,000 knitted red poppy flowers, each representing an Australian life lost during the conflict. While those 62,000 voices have been silent for a century, this new book, a companion to My Gallipoli, brings together the voices of many who waited for the inevitable outcome. From the Chief Allied Interpreter, soldiers and civilians and even Corporal Adolf Hitler, lying wounded in a military hospital, the events and the emotions are given a human side rather than the stark words on the pages of history books or in the mouths of modern dispassionate commentators.
While the guns were silenced on November 11, 1918, the talking continued for seven months until the Treaty of Versailles was finally signed on June 28, 1919 and the reader learns not only of the changes that were made to the world itself but also the conditions that meant that a second world war was inevitable.
With endpapers that show the political changes that occurred in Europe between 1914 and 1925, thumbnail sketches of those whose voices have been quoted and comprehensive teachers' notes available this is a remarkable book that will help our students understand the significance of the time and its centenary. It is a must-have in any collection relating to World War I.
Lest We Forget.
Barbara Braxton

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