Regeneration by Pat Barker

Regeneration, book one in Pat Barker’s series of novels confronting the psychological effects of World War I, focuses on treatment methods during the war and the story of a decorated English officer sent to a military hospital after publicly declaring he will no longer fight.

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

The nephew of a Canadian Oji-Cree who is the last of a line of healers and diviners, Cree reserve student Xavier enlists in the military during World War I, a conflict throughout which he and his friend, Elijah, are marginalized for their appearances, their culturally enhanced marksmanship, and their disparate views of the war.

The Star of Istanbul by Butler, Robert Olen

Christopher Marlowe (“Kit”) Cobb, an American war correspondent reporting on World War I, has been tasked to follow a man named Brauer, a German intellectual and possible covert SS agent, into perilous waters aboard the ship Lusitania, as the man is believed to hold information vital to the war effort. Aboard the Lusitania on its fateful voyage, Cobb becomes smitten with famed actress Selene Bourgani, who for some reason appears to be working with German Intelligence.

One of Ours by Willa Cathers

Alienated from his uncaring father and pious mother, and rejected by a wife whose only love is missionary work, Claude is an idealist without ideals to cling to. Only when his country enters the Great War does he find the meaning of his life.

The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

In 1914, with World War I approaching, polar explorer Seamus Finnegan tries to forget Willa, a passionate mountain climber, as he marries a beautiful young woman back home in England.

1914 by Jean Echenoz

Five Frenchmen go off to war, two of them leaving behind a young woman who longs for their return, but the main character in this brilliant novel is the Great War itself.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present.

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Fall of Giants follows the fates of five interrelated families — American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh — as they move through the dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage.

The good soldier Svejk and his fortunes in the World War by Jaroslav Hasek

Set in the Central Europe of old, this anti-war novel features a simple soldier whose determination to survive brings into question the powerful social and political institutions he confronts. A portrait of a “little man” waging his own war against authority, it becomes a satire on the old regime.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front during World War I and his love for an English nurse.

Strange Meeting by Susan Hill

The trenches of the Western Front are the setting for this story of the extraordinary devotion that develops between silent, morose John Hillard, full of war’s futility, and his as yet unscathed trench mate, David Barton.

A Very Long Engagement by Sébastien Japrisot

In 1919, a young wheelchair-bound woman in France begins a quest to find out if her fiancée, supposedly killed in the line of duty two years earlier, might still be alive.

The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally

From the beloved author of Schindler’s List, a magnificent, epic novel of two sisters, both nurses during World War I.

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

When Thomas Peaceful’s older brother is forced to join the British Army, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Unwillingly rendered an object of obsession by the Kommandant occupying her small French town in World War I, Sophie risks everything to reunite with her husband a century before a widowed Liv tests her resolve to claim ownership of Sophie’s portrait.

No Graves As Yet by Anne Perry

In June of 1914, Cambridge professor Joseph Reavley learns that his father was carrying a vitally important secret document when he died, and that his best student has been murdered.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

The testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I, illuminates the savagery and futility of war.

To the Last Man by Jeff Shaara

In the spring of 1918, when America enters World War I, the world waits to see if the tide of war can be turned with the renewed spirit and strength of the untested American Expeditionary Force under General John “BlackJack” Pershing.

And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov

Gregor Melekhov, a young married Cossack, lives along the Don River where he engages in military adventures while having a torrid love affair.

Stella Bain by Anita Shreve

An epic story, set against the backdrop of World War I, from bestselling author Anita Shreve. When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse’s aide near the front, but she can’t remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield. In a narrative that takes us from London to America and back again, Shreve has created an engrossing and wrenching tale about love and the meaning of memory, set against the haunting backdrop of a war that destroyed an entire generation.

August 1914 by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

In his monumental narrative of the outbreak of the First World War and the ill-fated Russian offensive into East Prussia, Solzhenitsyn has written what Nina Krushcheva, in “The Nation,” calls “a dramatically new interpretation of Russian history.”

The First of July by Elizabeth Speller

Follows the lives of four very different men — Frank, Benedict, Jean-Batiste, and Harry — as their fates converge on the most terrible and destructive day of World War I, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

A Good Woman by Danielle Steel

Her life and family changed forever by the sinking of the Titanic, Annabelle Worthington flees New York for war-torn France, where, in a field hospital run by women in the midst of World War I, she finds her true calling in medicine.

A Question of Honor by Charles Todd

While tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess Crawford discovers that the officer who killed five people in India and England is still alive, and, setting out to clear her father’s name, instead makes a horrific discovery that changes everything.

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

During World War I, an American soldier awakens in a hospital and realizes his arms, legs, ears, and face have been destroyed by an artillery shell. After nine years of lying in bed, he begins to tap messages in Morse code by moving his head. He communicates with a nurse and asks for someone to help him leave the hospital or die.

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West

Shell shocked Captain Chris Baldry returns from the Great War suffering from the delusion that he is fifteen years younger than his actual age and in love with a woman not his wife. With the aid of a psychoanalyst, family members try to help him differentiate his remembered past and his present reality.

Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs entered domestic service in 1910 at thirteen, working for Lady Rowan Compton. When her remarkable intelligence is discovered by her employer, Maisie becomes the pupil of Maurice Blanche, a learned friend of the Comptons. In 1929, following an apprenticeship with Blanche, Maisie hangs out her shingle: M. Dobbs, Trade and Personal Investigations.

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

A story that intertwines the lives of two very different couples during World War I follows army soldier Riley as he fights for the love of Nadine despite a terrible injury, and Riley’s commanding officer Peter Locke, who returns home from the war a bitter and scarred man.

The Great Depression: a diary by Benjamin Roth; edited by James Ledbetter and Daniel B. Roth

Nearly two years after the stock market crash of 1929, Youngstown, Ohio, attorney Benjamin Roth realized that economic prosperity would not return quickly, and so he began a diary to record his thoughts on the events of the Great Depression until recovery returned tracking both the social evolution in his town and the disruptions to the American economy during the 1930s and early 1940s.

Clara’s kitchen: wisdom, memories, and recipes from the great depression by Clara Cannucciari with Christopher Cannucciari

The late ninety-eight year old YouTube© sensation Clara Cannucciari shares her treasured recipes and commonsense wisdom in a heartwarming remembrance of the Great Depression. Clara’s Kitchen takes readers back to a simpler, if not more difficult time, and gives everyone what they need: hope for the future and a nice dish of warm pasta from everyone’s favorite grandmother.

Poetry of the First World War: an anthology edited by Tim Kendall

The First World War produced an extraordinary flowering of poetic talent, poets whose words commemorate the conflict more personally than and as enduringly as monuments in stone. This new anthology provides a definitive record of the achievements of the Great War poets. Music hall and trench songs provide a further lyrical perspective on the War. The work of each poet is prefaced with a biographical account that sets the poems in their historical context.

An illustrated history of the First World War by John Keegan

This illustrated history consisting of photographs, paintings, cartoons and posters of the First World War reveals the devastation, camaraderie, political machinations, and battlefield maneuverings that took place in Europe. The narrative, derived both from historian Keegan’s classic account of the war and new material, reveals how ambition, mistrust and failures of diplomacy and communication played a part in allowing this conflict to erupt in what was the world’s most prosperous society, and how its effects still haunt Europe today.

The faces of World War by Max Arthur; foreword by Ian Hislop

From the frontline troops and the daily dance with death, to the support lines, communications, enlistment, training, and propaganda, the story of the war is illustrated with over 200 images that have been handpicked from the world famous collection of the Imperial War Museum in London. Every aspect of the soldier’s life is covered in this brilliant collection of images and eyewitness accounts that bring the Great War to life once more.

The Great War: a photographic narrative by Mark Holborn and Hilary Roberts

On the occasion of the centenary of World War I in August 2014-an unprecedented, spectacular pictorial history of the first global war in 380 black-and-white photographs, many never seen before, from Imperial War Museums in London. This monumental, dramatic photographic narrative captures the war from the early arms race that developed around the massing of prewar battleship fleets to the final moments of the conflict with the sinking of the German fleet in Scapa.

Catastrophe 1914: Europe goes to war by Max Hastings

From the acclaimed military historian, a new history of the outbreak of World War I: the dramatic stretch from the breakdown of diplomacy to the battles-the Marne, Ypres, Tannenberg-that marked the frenzied first year before the war bogged down in the trenches. This is a vivid new portrait of how a continent became embroiled in war and what befell millions of men and women in a conflict that would change everything.

To end all wars: a story of loyalty and rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild

In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war’s critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Today, hundreds of military cemeteries spread across the fields of northern France and Belgium contain the bodies of millions of men who died in the “war to end all wars.”

14-18: understanding the Great War by Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker; translated from the French by Catherine Temerson

With this brilliantly innovative book, Audoin-Rouzeau and Becker have shown that the Great War was the matrix on which all subsequent disasters of the twentieth century were formed. This strikingly original interpretation has strength and wealth of compelling documentary evidence drawn from all sides in the conflict.

The Great War: perspectives on the First World War edited by Robert Cowley

The Great War-or the First World War, as most Americans call it-was the true turning point of the century just past. It changed the United States from a bumptious provincial nation into a world power and made World War II inevitable, and the Cold War as well. Above all, the Great War was history’s first total war, an armed conflict on a world stage between industrialized powers.

The Great War: a combat history of the First World War by Peter Hart

World War I altered the landscape of the modern world in every conceivable arena. Millions died; empires collapsed; new ideologies and political movements arose; poison gas, warplanes, tanks, submarines, and other technologies appeared. “Total war” emerged as a grim, mature reality. Hart provides a masterful combat history of this global conflict.

German strategy and the path to Verdun: Erich von Falkenhayn and the development of attrition, 1870-1916 by Robert T. Foley

Utilizing newly discovered German army archives, Foley has written a history of the efforts of General Erich von Falkenhayn, chief of the German General Staff, 1914-16, to develop and implement a strategy of attrition. Falkenhayn’s strategy failed because France refused to concede despite terrible casualties, while the German army suffered almost as many casualties as did the French.

The myth of the Great War: a new military history of World War I by John Mosier

In reading and analyzing the great body of tactical and operational literature published by French soldiers and academicians in the interwar period, Mosier brings to light a perspective generally neglected by historians who prefer to tell the war’s story from a German or British view. For most of WWI, Mosier reminds us, it was the French who held most of the front and did most of the dying.

The remains of Company D: a story of the Great War by James Carl Nelson

The American boys of Company D were on the front lines, and Nelson has combined previously unpublished first-person accounts, prodigious research, and vivid, you-are-there prose into one of the great books on the subject. The Remains of Company D follows the members of Company D, 28th Infantry Regiment, United States First Division, from enlistment to combat to the effort to recover their remains, focusing on the three major battles at Cantigny, Soissons, and in the Meuse-Argonne and the effects these horrific battles had on the men.

A youth in the Meuse-Argonne: a memoir, 1917-1918 by William S. Triplet; edited by Robert H. Ferrell

A firsthand account of World War I through the eyes of an enlisted soldier from shortly after the time of his enlistment in 1917 to his honorable discharge in 1919. At the age of 17, William S. Triplet left high school in a Missouri town to enlist in the National Guard for the Great War and found himself a sergeant of infantry in the 35th (Missouri-Kansas) Division during the closing months of hostilities in France.

A soldier in World War I: the diary of Elmer W. Sherwood; edited by Robert H. Ferrell

As a soldier with the 42nd (Rainbow) Division in France in World War I, Elmer Sherwood was an observer with uncommonly good judgment. The diary captures the words of the Hoosier soldier as he wrote them on the front lines including his experiences in the army of occupation following the war’s end and the battle of the horrendous Meuse-Argonne offensive that took 26,000 lives.

Verdun 1916: ‘they shall not pass’ by William Martin

German General, Erich von Falkenhayn unleashed his hammer-blow offensive against the French fortress city of Verdun. Martin describes the destructive events of this pivotal First World War I battle, the costliest one between the French and Germans in the War.

The road to Verdun: World War I’s most momentous battle and the folly of nationalism by Ian Ousby

In mid-February 1916, the Germans launched a surprise major offensive at Verdun, an important fortress in northeast France. By mid-March, more than 90,000 French troops had been killed or wounded. The fighting continued for seven long months, with casualties on both sides mounting in astonishing numbers. By the end of the year, the battle had claimed more than 700,000 victims. Even today, 150,000 unidentified dead soldiers are commemorated by rows of white crosses at Verdun, a ghastly memorial to the carnage.

The Gold Star Mother pilgrimages of the 1930s : overseas grave visitations by mothers and widows of fallen U.S. World War I soldiers by John W. Graham

During the First World War, a flag with a gold star identified families who had lost soldiers. Grieving women were “Gold Star” mothers and widows. Between 1930 and 1933, the United States government took 6,654 Gold Star pilgrims to visit their sons’ and husbands’ graves in American cemeteries in Belgium, England, and France. This work covers the Gold Star pilgrimages beginning with an introduction to the war and wartime burial and the results of the pilgrimage experience as described by participants, observers, organizers, and scholars, researched through diaries, letters, scrapbooks, interviews, and newspaper accounts.

The missing of the Somme by Geoff Dyer

The Missing of the Somme, is a remarkable book on the significance of the First World War. Dyer weaves a network of myth and memory, photos and film, poetry and sculptures, graveyards, and ceremonies that illuminate our understanding of, and relationship to, the Great War and looks at the ways in which those who endured it, whether civilians, soldiers, or officers, went on to reckon with its brutal impact.

Wounded: a new history of the Western Front in World War I by Emily Mayhew

The number of soldiers wounded in World War I is, in itself, devastating: over 21 million military wounded, and nearly 10 million killed. On the battlefield, the injuries were shocking, unlike anything those in the medical field had ever witnessed. And yet the medical personnel faced with these unimaginable injuries adapted with amazing aptitude, thinking and reacting on their feet to save millions of lives.

Unknown soldiers: the story of the missing of the First World War by Neil Hanson

After the last shot was fired and the troops marched home, approximately three million soldiers remained unaccounted for. Hanson focuses on three soldiers — an American, an Englishman, and a German — and narrates their war experiences through their diaries and letters and how all three died on the battlefields of the Somme, within gunshot sound of one another. He explains how the death of one, the American pilot George Seibold, was instrumental in the creation of the Gold Star Mothers, an organization caring for bereaved mothers, wives, and families that is still active today.

Intimate voices from the First World War; edited by Svetlana Palmer and Sarah Wallis

Departing from traditional histories, Palmer and Wallis tell the story of the First World War entirely through the diaries and letters of its combatants, eyewitnesses and victims. Powerful individual stories are interwoven to form an extraordinary narrative that follows the chronology of the war, in words written on the battlefield and on leave, under occupation and under siege. Soldiers and civilians record with passion, fear, and humor their experiences and intimate thoughts.

Last Post by Max Arthur

Last Post is very consciously the last word from the handful of survivors left alive in 2004. When they die, our final human connection with the First World War will be broken: after this book, we will have only recordings or diaries. We will never be able to ask a question of someone who was there.

Dancing in the dark: a cultural history of the Great Depression by Morris Dickstein

In this timely and long-awaited cultural history of the 1930s, Dickstein explores the anxiety and hope, the despair and surprising optimism of distressed Americans at a time of dire economic dislocation. Exploding the myth that Depression culture was merely escapist, it concentrates instead on the dynamic energy and insight the arts could provide and the enormous lift they gave to the nation’s morale.

The Great Depression and the New Deal by Robert F. Himmelberg

This essential guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal provides a wealth of information, analysis, biographical profiles, primary documents and current resources. Himmelberg brings to life the traumatic period that began in 1929 and ended only with America’s entrance into World War II in 1941 and carefully explains the causes of the Depression, the actions taken by Franklin D. Roosevelt to lift America out of its economic morass, and the economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of the age.

Daily life in the United States, 1920-1939: decades of promise and pain by David E. Kyvig

During the 1920s and 1930s, changes in the American population, increasing urbanization, and innovations in technology exerted major influences on the daily lives of ordinary people. Find out how work life, domestic life, and leisure-time activities were affected by these factors as well as by the politics of the time.

Daily life in the United States, 1920-1940: how Americans lived through the “Roaring Twenties” and the Great Depression by David E. Kyvig

Daily life in the United States, 1920-1940 describes everyday life in the 20s-40s decade, the details of work life, domestic life, and leisure activities make engrossing reading and brings the era clearly into focus. Kyvig also touches on race, gender, class and the differences between rural and urban environments that represent a penetrating information-packed portrait of Main Street, USA, during tumultuous times.

The greatest generation grows up: American childhood in the 1930s by Kriste Lindenmeyer

The greatest generation grows up chronicles the lives and times of American children who grew up during the Great Depression and entered adulthood during World War II. Lindenmeyer shows how children and adolescents were both influenced and were the targets of important social and political changes.

The forgotten man: a new history of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes

Its difficult today to imagine how America survived the Great Depression. Only, through the stories of the common people who struggled during that era can we really understand how the nation endured. Shlaes offers a striking reinterpretation of the Great Depression. Rejecting the old emphasis on the New Deal, she turns to the neglected and moving stories of individual Americans, and shows how through brave leadership they helped establish the steadfast character we developed as a nation.

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: letters from children of the Great Depression; edited by Robert Cohen

Impoverished young Americans had no greater champion during the Depression than Eleanor Roosevelt. She was the most visible spokesperson for the National Youth Administration, the New Deal’s central agency for aiding the needy young, and she was adamant in insisting that federal aid to young people be administered without discrimination so that it reached blacks as well as whites, girls as well as boys. This activism made Mrs. Roosevelt a beloved figure among poor teens and children, who between 1933 and 1941 wrote her thousands of letters describing their problems and requesting her help.

Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: letters to Eleanor Roosevelt through depression and war; edited by Cathy D. Knepper

“Dear Mrs. Roosevelt — Mother of our country”, begins one letter; “Dear Mrs. Roosevelt, My Friend — everybody’s friend”, begins another. Knepper dramatically documents in this galvanizing collection, Mrs. Roosevelt did help whenever possible, forwarding requests to various administrators and addressing her correspondents' urgent concerns in her radio broadcasts and syndicated column, My Day. Now these plainspoken yet expressive entreaties to a tireless champion for civil rights and economic well-being serve as testimony not only to Mrs. Roosevelt’s extraordinary spirit and achievements but also to a unique time of genuine civic responsibility, kindness, and foresight.

Verdun: the longest battle of the Great War by Paul Jankowski

At seven o'’clock in the morning on February 21, 1916, the ground in northern France began to shake. For the next ten hours, twelve hundred German guns showered shells on a salient in French lines. The massive weight of explosives collapsed dugouts, obliterated trenches, severed communication wires, and drove men mad. Jankowski combines the best of traditional military history-its emphasis on leaders, plans, technology, and the contingency of combat-with the newer social and cultural approach, stressing the soldier’s experience, the institutional structures of the military, and the impact of war on national memory.

The First World War (4 DVD set)