Acquisitions

John Horne, ed. A Companion to World War I. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. A collection of essays by an international group of experts who provide a comprehensive overview of the war: origins, strategy, combat, the home fronts, memory, and so on. In many cases the essays are written by exactly who you'd expect, and want. The chapter on the air war gives rise to mixed feelings, however. It's by John H. Morrow, Jr., the author of The Great War in the Air (1993), which twenty years after publication is a classic and still the best general survey available. So the obvious choice, then. Except that he's largely moved on from aviation history since the mid-1990s, and the citations in his chapter reflect this. So maybe not the obvious choice, then. Except that I'm struggling to think of many essential works on airpower in the First World War that he's missed out on. From my own narrow interests, probably only Biddle's Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare (2002), and maybe fellow contributor Susan Grayzel's At Home and Under Fire (2012), though only parts of these deal with 1914-1918. Maybe the real problem, then, is that not enough historians picked up where Morrow left off.

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