How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front – The New York Times

“Tolkien used the language of myth not to escape the world, but to reveal a mythic and heroic quality in the world as we find it. Perhaps this was the greatest tribute he could pay to the fallen of the Somme.”

Read the entire article here: How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front – The New York Times

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“Did the 1914 Christmas Truce Really Happen?”

Yes, it did! However, Brian Dunning challenges some of the exaggerated stories surrounding the 1914 Christmas Truce.  Dunning is right to question the excessive mythic stories of this story, but even in its more toned down version it is a wonderful story that should inspire hope for humanity.

Read Dunning’s careful analysis of the truce here: Did the 1914 Christmas Truce Really Happen?

christmas truce WWI

“Secret Warriors of the First World War” | History News Network

In his new book, Taylor Downing, writes about the unsung heroes of WWI. He recounts the stories of the spies, scientists, and code breakers who changed the world through their work. “[T]hese ‘secret warriors,’” he declares, “were a remarkable group and their stories deserve to be rediscovered. The First World War was not just a war of trenches, slaughter and sacrifice. It changed the scientific and technological landscape of the century to follow.” Read his summary of the book at:

History News Network | Secret Warriors of the First World War.

secret warriors WWI

A Higher Form of Killing: Six Weeks in World War One That Forever Changed the Nature of Warfare by Diana Preston, review: ‘authoritative’ – Telegraph

This looks like a great book. Read Nigel Jones’ book review at the Telegraph:

A Higher Form of Killing: Six Weeks in World War One That Forever Changed the Nature of Warfare by Diana Preston, review: ‘authoritative’ – Telegraph.

A Higher Form of Killing

The Christmas Truce of World War I: The Two Sides of Humanity

I love this story! It was a bright spot in a horrible war. It gives me faith in humanity, and exposes the folly of war. It breaks my heart when these young men are forced to return to the trenches to begin killing each other for no reason. Soon suffering and propaganda fostered a hatred that ensured that they could no longer see each others humanity. There would be no more truces.

History News Network | The Christmas Truce: A Sentimental Dream.

christmas truce WWI

History News Network | Why No One Remembers the Peacemakers

This December 25 will be the hundredth anniversary of the Christmas Truce that occurred during World War I.  An event worth celebrating! Usually most “outbreaks of peace,” as Adam Hochschild points out, are not celebrated but “the anniversary of this one is being celebrated with extraordinary officially sanctioned fanfare.” The fact that this event “did not represent a challenge to the sovereignty of war” and is receiving significant support from European governments and the Football Association [soccer] explains why this particular event (and not other peace promoting events) will be celebrated. While Hochschilds supports the celebration of this event he thinks that we should celebrate peace and peacemakers more often. He suggests:

“Perhaps when the next anniversary of the Iraq War comes around, it’s time to break with a tradition that makes ever less sense in our world. Next time, why not have parades to celebrate those who tried to prevent that grim, still ongoing conflict from starting? Of course, there’s an even better way to honor and thank veterans of the struggle for peace: don’t start more wars.”

History News Network | Why No One Remembers the Peacemakers.

War to end war Hothschild