Lots of speculative views into the national character of the French and why Verdun became such a mythic battle, even though it was far from either the deadliest battle (The Somme killed far more) or the deadliest period (excelled by Oct-Dec 1914 and 1915). Engrossing and persuasive.
At a time when nationalism seems to be having some kind of inexplicable vogue in certain circles, this book is a very salutary reminder of just what are the usual results of nationalistic feelings when set loose in the idiot's delight of international politics. Besides this, it's a very compelling account of the actual battles of Verdun 1916 and Sedan 1870 and how they were genetically connected over that span of time.
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