Friday, September 18, 2009

Truce by Jim Murphy

Imagine the trench warfare, 1917,'s cold, dark and bloody. Men are being exposed to cold, open sewage, dead bodies, and shell shock. The Allies have been in a stalemate with the Germans for months. Both sides have become acutely aware of snipers, sharpshooters, overhead barrages by zeppelins, and bombs.

What they thought was a honorable war fought with honorable intentions has turned into a nightmare with 20th century machinery. The old rules don't apply....gentlemen's codes are tossed aside. What has replaced it are guns, shells, mortars, barbed wire, and filthy dirt trenches - No Man's Land.

But one day, against all odds, the enemies meet face to face and rather than kill each other, they shake hands and celebrate. Could this be real??

Jim Murphy has done it again. He takes a holistic look at World War I, from its pre-infancy beginnings to the turmoil of the trench warfare and finds a bit of humanity that played itself out, against rulers rules, against commanders' orders, against the realism of a hideous war. Scattered among the pages are images and pictures from World War I that show the devastation and loss as well as the optimism and miracle during the Great Trench War. Murphy shows cause and effect and essentially answers the question, "What if...." to all that could have prevented the war or changed it. An amazing non-fiction book rife with images, letters, and facts, this is perfect for junior high through high school. Highly recommended.

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