The War to End All Wars: World War I

by Russell Freedman

Hardcover, 2010



Local notes

940.3 Fre



Clarion Books (2010), Edition: 1, 176 pages, $22.00 (Dec 2017)


A narrative history of World War I for young readers that features archival photographs, and describes how advanced military weaponry impacted the course of the war.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

176 p.; 9.5 inches


0547026862 / 9780547026862



User reviews

LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
An accessible and detailed history of World War I. Russell Freedman does a great job of setting the scene with archival photographs and information about the daily lives of soldiers. This book would be an excellent classroom resource and has a lot of appeal for kids who are interested in history or wars.
LibraryThing member Jmmott
This is an amazingly thorough account of WWI. Freedman addresses the conflict and the impact of the war on all nations involved. The pictures he uses are well sourced and the references list is thorough. The level of scholarship involved in this book make is appropriate for use in a classroom, but also for adult readers looking to gain a better understanding of of the factors that caused the war, prolonged the war, and eventually caused the peace settlement. Freedman also addresses the Russian Revolution, and other smaller conflicts that occurred due to the political instability. This book lives up to the standards that Freedman sets with his other works.… (more)
LibraryThing member likesbooksrs
Freedman has done a superb job of researching and writing about the war. One of the finest history books for youth ever written.
LibraryThing member wortklauberlein
The battlefields whose names resound in history and ring the Navy-Marine Corps stadium come to horrible life in these pages. Renowned author Russell Freedman writes with authority of the Great War in which his own father fought and in which literally countless lives were lost.

The United States was a late-comer, sitting out all but the last year or so of the war that began and ended in diplomatic failures both shocking and absurd. A must-read for students, and anyone, who needs an understanding of the origins of many of the conflicts t hat still burn today.

The history is told partly through the words of the soldiers themselves, making the sense of waste and loss even more personal and stronger. One British soldier recounts being wounded in battle and trying to help another soldier, with both arms bandaged, light his pipe.

"I offered to fill and light it for him. But when I'd lit it I suddenly realized he had nowhere to put it , as he'd had his lower jaw blown away. So I smoked the pipe and he smelt the tobacco, that was all the poor chap could have."

At times the carnage became so outrageous that the Germans, who outnumbered and outgunned the Allies, simply stopped firing to allow them to retreat.

Freedman includes the story of Cher Ami, the carrier pigeon that bravely and stubbornly flew through enemy fire to deliver the message that an American battalion was pinned down by its compatriots artillery. The plucky bird was shot and lost a leg. It was outfitted with a wooden limb and received the Croix de Guerre.

Illustrated with numerous battle pictures that tell of the horrors of war without being excessively graphic, "The War to End All Wars" is a stellar addition to nonfiction for young adults.
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LibraryThing member dickmanikowski
I placed a hold on a library copy of this book by mistake, confusing it with another book entitled TO END ALL WARS. When I was notified that the book was being held for me and went in to pick it up, I immediately realized my mistake.
Given the facts that this was a juvenile book and that my memories of high school history classes (Bay City St. James class of '67) are pretty vague, I figured it might be a good idea to check out the juvie lit book.
And it was great. Probably aimed at high schoolers, it presented a vivid history of the war's causes, events, and outcomes. I was highly impressed.
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LibraryThing member edspicer
There was a nice overview of the war without going too far in depth. AHS/DG
LibraryThing member jenniferthomp75
Excellent account of the first World War. Freedman is a masterful storyteller who can make non-fiction come alive. I'm never disappointed with his books, and this one is a beauty.

He brings the reader into the war and doesn't let go. The chapters on trench warfare and the Treaty of Versailles are particularly captivating.

Highly recommended and a definite consideration for the Printz.
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LibraryThing member laurakurtz
This informative picture and text book combines the two to explain in detail the origins and life span of WWI, with a focus on the wars place in the history of other wars. There are lots of interesting photographs, and enough text to make this a solid reference book for a school-age research paper. The author uses lots of primary sources (such as diaries from various viewpoints, photos, newspaper articles,) to tell the story in an interesting chronological manner.… (more)
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
Superb history as only Russell Freedman can write it.
LibraryThing member DustinB1983
“The War to End All Wars” is a book on World War I for young readers. I increasingly associate Russell Freedman with the word “concise.” This book is fittingly succinct for the target audience. Freedman begins the story with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. He gets right to it in a way that draws in the reader. Once this account is told, then the significance and consequences of this event is the focus. Freedman set up the background, explaining the alliances and the arms buildup of the nations involved in the war. The book goes on to discuss the events of the war and how the war was influenced by the technology and weaponry of the era. The book is littered with striking photographs that are always complementary to the text. As it should, the book leads the reader all the way up to the beginning moments of WWII and leaves you hanging.

With all the attention World War II seems to get, it is refreshing to see a book that makes the story of World War I accessible to young readers. Too often texts try to gloss over it in a few pages as they can. And the books I have seen on the war seem are dense door-stops. In his usual way, Freedman tells the story in a way that is both interesting to read and easy to read. He covers the most important points while leaving none of them out This book is a must have resource for lessons on WWI.
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LibraryThing member scnelson
Having read an adult account of the beginnings of the Great War, I was interested to see how someone would handle the subject for younger readers, and Freedman does an excellent job with it here. The web of alliances, the rush to war by youth ignorant to its consequences and the failed aftermath of fighting are all covered in this book in enough detail to grasp the situation and hopefully light a fire in students to pursue more information about the subject on their own.… (more)
LibraryThing member ZacWoodruff
While I can't say I think this book is necessarily elementary appropriate, it is certainly an interesting historical read. Surprisingly well written and engaging, the photographs are also amazing and really help accompany the writing. Rather than feeling like you are reading a textbook, this is written with a lot of first person accounts and quotes. Again, I think this is probably more middle school appropriate as this is quite lengthy and violent in accounts, it is also a great read for any historical fan.… (more)
LibraryThing member EmLu
Freedman presents very succinct, factual information about a highly complex and terrible event in human history. Incredibly well researched, with the inclusion of firsthand sources and photographs, the book will capture the attention of any student fascinated by history.
LibraryThing member Abdullah9000
This book tells the story of carnage and terror from World War I. It has real images from the war. It's a long book, but it s a very good read. It also has a lot of graphics to keep you interested.
LibraryThing member hailelib
This book by Russell Freeman is an excellent introduction to World War I, covering some of the background and events just before various countries declared war, the course of the war itself, the eventual participation of the U.S. and the aftermath. He explains briefly why the world found itself once more at war only twenty years later.

Although written for middle school students (10 - 14 years old) I found it quite informative about a subject that I knew little about even though I've read some fiction recently that had the war as background. The many photographs were particularly interesting as were quotes from the journals and letters of the soldiers on the front lines.
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(33 ratings; 4.3)
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