Military history

To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918

To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918

World War I stands as one of history’s most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war’s critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britain’s leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor who, behind bars, published a newspaper for his fellow inmates on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britain’s most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other. 

Today, hundreds of military cemeteries spread across the fields of northern France and Belgium contain the bodies of millions of men who died in the “war to end all wars.” Can we ever avoid repeating history?

INTRODUCTION: CLASH OF DREAMS

Part I. Dramatis Personae

Chapter 1: BROTHER AND SISTER

Chapter 2: A MAN OF NO ILLUSIONS

Chapter 3: A CLERGYMAN'S DAUGHTER

Chapter 4: HOLY WARRIORS

Chapter 5: BOY MINER

Chapter 6: ON THE EVE

Part II. 1914

Chapter 7: A STRANGE LIGHT

Chapter 8: AS SWIMMERS INTO CLEANNESS LEAPING

Chapter 9: THE GOD OF RIGHT WILL WATCH THE FIGHT

Part III. 1915

Chapter 10: THIS ISN'T WAR

Chapter 11: IN THE THICK OF IT

Chapter 12: NOT THIS TIDE

Part IV. 1916

Chapter 13: WE REGRET NOTHING

Chapter 14: GOD, GOD, WHERE'S THE REST OF THE BOYS?

Chapter 15: CASTING AWAY ARMS

Part V. 1917

Chapter 16: BETWEEN THE LION'S JAWS

Chapter 17: THE WORLD IS MY COUNTRY

Chapter 18: DROWNING ON LAND

Chapter 19: PLEASE DON'T DIE

Part VI. 1918

Chapter 20: BACKS TO THE WALL

Chapter 21: THERE ARE MORE DEAD THAN LIVING NOW

Chapter 22: THE DEVIL'S OWN HAND

Chapter 23: AN IMAGINARY CEMETERY

SOURCE NOTES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS