The War to End All Wars: World War I

Title: Bomb: The War to End All Wars: World War I
Author: Russell Freedman
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2013
Rating: 3.5/5 stars


2012 Volunteer State Award Nominee


It seems to me that World War I is quite often overshadowed by its big brother World War II. However, in his book, The War to End All Wars, Russell Freedman dissects the ins and outs of the causes and effects of the first World War. Although laden with details and a bit hard to follow for younger students, Freedman writes a beautiful picture of how war changed forever with the start of the first world war.  From the assassination to Frans Ferdinand to the Christmas Day Truce, the details are simply fascinating and Freedman presents them in an exciting way.

Freedman fills the book with attention-grabbing photos; readers have a hard time tearing their eyes away from the pictures to continue on reading the text, eager to find out what events unfold next. Freedman also characterizes the major players in the war, brilliantly connecting the reader to the intense emotions of the world leaders almost to the point of feeling like you once knew these figures. War does not move slow, and neither does the book. Each sentence full of information, the reader must pace their eyes, allowing their brain to fully digest the gravity of the information read. With photos and maps to help the reader sort out the basic information, this book touches on all points of the war, becoming an incredible resource for students.

Review Excerpt:

Freedman lucidly recounts the origins, meaning, and legacy of history’s first “total” war that spanned the globe and was characterized by the horrors and brutality of trench warfare. In synthesizing larger scholarly works, the author’s excellent narrative skillfully encompasses all facets of the conflict including battles, leaders, and the new technologies that made it so destructive. Freedman also provides a keen analysis of the ramifications of the war, including an end to a century of American isolation, the Russian Revolution, and the troubled legacy of defeat that provided a foundation for the rise of Fascism and Nazi Germany. Elegantly written and filled with vivid, powerful photographs, this masterful work demands a spot in every collection.—Brian Odom, Pelham Public Library, AL 


This book should be used as a resource for students interested in the intricacies of the first world war.  It provides a wonderful overview of the relationships between the European countries at the beginning of the 20th century.  So often the details of The Great War are skimmed in class due to time constraints.  This book would be an incredible supplementary source for older middle grade students interested in the development of war throughout the ages.


Amazon. 2014. “The War to End All Wars: World War I.”

Freedman, Russell. 28 April 2013. The War to End All Wars: World War I. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

“The War to End All Wars.” Books In Print. Ebsco.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s