The Great War was truly The Mother Of All Wars, the time and place where industrial technology and war met. Tens of millions died. America’s losses were few. But the aftermath (especially the damned Treaty of Versailles) created the world we still live in, and many of the problems that still plague us.
WWII was larger and killed more people, but the Great War was a far greater blow to European Civilization. It changed everything from literature to skirt lengths. One writer described it as civilization having a nervous breakdown. The old order that ruled Europe and the world for centuries was swept away in four years. What to do about that collapse and how to fill that void brought us everything from The Waste Land to Auschwitz.
More people should know. Thanks for writing this intro.
There are many excellent general histories of the war, as well as private accounts. An easy one to start with is A World Undone, but there are many others.