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The War to End All Wars

The Story of World War I

by Jack Batten

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europe, new experience, military & wars
list price: $24.99
published: 2009
publisher: Tundra
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The War to End All Wars: The Story of World War I

Jack Batten has taken on a broad and ambitious subject in his latest book, TheWar to End All Wars: The Story of World War I. Few topics are as broad and monumental as this one, but Batten has produced a highly readable and informative book.

To manage this, Batten has focused his attention exclusively on matters military. You won’t find the homefront in this book. But The War to End All Wars does a fine job of telling this military story from 1914-1918. It covers major ground, air and sea offensives on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. In fact, that is one of the book’s great strengths: While many books about the First World War in this country focus on the experience of Canadians, Batten has deliberately cast his eye on the epic battles (Somme, Jutland, Gallipoli, Tannenberg) rather than Canada’s role.

Canada is present – Vimy Ridge, Arthur Currie and Billy Bishop all takes turns on centre stage – but this is a book about the First World War, not Canada and the First World War.

Batten has done an excellent job of writing clear and simple prose, so students in Grades 7 to 10 will find it accessible, even if they are sent to their dictionaries for words such “hypocrisy” or “Bolsheviks.”

They may also need some maps as the book’s only ones are on the inside of the dustjacket, an unfortunate oversight for a resource aimed at those who need maps most. On the other hand, there is an excellent index and bibliography to help in the research process.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2010. Vol.33 No.2.

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A brilliant, concise history of The War to End All Wars.

In the decade leading up to 1914, Europe had never known such prosperity. But the times were not good enough for the continent’s most powerful nations: Germany wanted a navy that matched England’s; Russia wanted an army as large and as disciplined as Germany’s; the Austro-Hungarian Empire wanted more respect; and England felt compelled to teach the others about civilized relations. How terrible could a war be?

In this riveting account of a tragic episode in world history, author Jack Batten takes readers through a far bloodier conflict than mankind had ever before endured. Meet the soldiers who fought the deadly battles along the Western Front. Follow the trail of flying ace Billy Bishop as he tangles in the air with the Red Baron. Learn the strategy of Britain’s Grand Fleet of warships as it heads into the biggest sea battle in history. Discover how civilians decoded virtually all the messages the Germans sent to their ships around the world.

From the Battle of the Somme, Gallipoli, Passchendale, and Vimy Ridge to the war’s final battles, The War to End All Wars evokes the heroism and suffering of men from every country, whose stories changed the face of the world forever. With maps, index, and selected bibliography.

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Contributor notes

Jack Batten was a lawyer but has become a well-known author, journalist, reviewer, and radio personality. He has written over thirty books, including biographies, crime novels, and books about sports. He has written for magazines as varied as Chatelaine and Rolling Stone. His book The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat received Canada’s most important prize for children’s nonfiction, the Norma Fleck Award. Jack Batten lives in Toronto.

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Editorial Review

Praise for The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone:
“…fast-paced, deeply researched and fresh…vividly readable… brilliantly done!”
Norma Fleck Jury

Praise for Silent in an Evil Time: The Brave War of Edith Cavell:
“Jack Batten has written an interesting and thought-provoking biography of this remarkable and courageous woman...Highly Recommended.”
CM Magazine

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About the Author

Jack Batten

Jack Batten, after a brief and unhappy career as a lawyer, has been a very happy writer for many years. The author of forty books, Batten has also reviewed jazz for the Globe and Mail, and, for twenty-five years, movies on CBC Radio. He currently writes the biweekly Whodunnit column in the Toronto Star. He lives in Toronto.

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