World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection (5 volumes)

World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection (5 volumes)World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection by Spencer C. Tucker
ISBN: 1851099646
Published by ABC-CLIO on October 28, 2014
Genres: Reference
Pages: 2307

Full disclosure: This reviewer contributed to ABC-CLIO’s previous The Encyclopedia of World War II (2005) and The Civil War encyclopedia (2013), but did not write for this WW1 series.

A host of knowledgeable experts provided the entries that form the basis of this massive work. Spencer Tucker, the series editor, is an award-winning author or editor of 49 books and encyclopedias. A former U.S. Army captain and intelligence analyst at the Pentagon, he retired from teaching at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington.

Each of the first four volumes consists of maps followed by alphabetically-organized entries. The first volume also includes three special essays: The Origins of World War I; The Outbreak of World War I (after June 28, 1914); and World War I Overview.

The fifth volume presents 207 key primary source documents, organized by dates, including pre-war and post-war periods. For example, Document 42 presents the report of German U-9 commander Lieutenant Otto Weddigen, who sank three British cruisers in the first major submarine engagement of the war on 22 September 1914, juxtaposed against the report by Royal Navy Commander Bertram W.L. Nicholson who was on the Cressy, one of the cruisers that was lost.

Other documents include official treaties and communiqués such as President Woodrow Wilson’s correspondence with the German government in 1918, and even famous popular items such as Canadian surgeon John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” published in the British magazine Punch in December 1915.

A few entries have become outdated by recent research and scholarship and the maps are often too general, not even identifying armies let alone subordinate units. Using a modern tank silhouette to indicate Ottoman mobile howitzer battalions on the Gallipoli-Dardanelles map in volume two (page 635) looks very odd as well as anachronistic.

Despite these minor complaints, these volumes sit on a shelf within easy reach of my desk. I refer to them regularly as a starting point and/or fact-checking reference. They are indispensible to my work. Highly recommended for anyone with a serious interest in the study of the First World War.

Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of WWOI

The Encyclopedia of World War I : A Political, Social, and Military History

The Encyclopedia of World War I : A Political, Social, and Military HistoryThe Encyclopedia of World War I : A Political, Social, and Military History by Spencer C. Tucker
ISBN: 1851094202
Published by ABC-CLIO on September 27th 2005
Genres: General, Military
Pages: 1661

Len's Summary: Dr. Tucker recently retired from VMI and is the editor of the The European Powers in World War I: An Encyclopedia (Garland, 1996) as well as an excellent one-volume history of the war.

World War I: Primary Documents on Events from 1914 to 1919

World War I: Primary Documents on Events from 1914 to 1919World War I: Primary Documents on Events from 1914 to 1919 by Ross F. Collins
ISBN: 9780313320828
Published by ABC-CLIO on 2008
Genres: History, Military, World War I, Modern, 20th Century
Pages: 411

Len's Summary: Anthology of American magazine and newspaper excerpts with explanatory text dealing with contemporary war issues. In the days before radio, TV and public opinion polls, the print media was both the primary reflector and molder of public opinion. This book highlights both the propaganda campaign that accompanied the war and the challenges faced by German Americans as their adopted nation was drawn into the conflict.

Breakthrough: The Gorlice-Tarnow Campaign

Breakthrough: The Gorlice-Tarnow CampaignBreakthrough: The Gorlice-Tarnow Campaign by Richard L. DiNardo
ISBN: 0275991105
Published by Praeger Publishers on May 20th 2010
Genres: History, Europe, Germany, Military, World War I, Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Pages: 215

Len's Summary: The first extensive study in English of the major German victory on the Eastern Front which resulted in a 200-mile Russian retreat accompanied by a scorched-earth policy and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Polish, White Russian and Jewish civilians.