Among the numerous books that have been written about the First World War, Hunger stands out for its focus on the role of food in this bloodiest and most gruesome of conflicts. Dutch historian Rick Blom has created a fascinating and absorbing narrative from a wide range of source material, including personal diaries by active servicemen and civilians, historical accounts, food manuals, recipe books, and interviews with veterans. Direct quotes from diaries are deftly merged with an account of the war’s progress from the standpoint of the three principal nations involved: Britain, France, and Germany. Interwoven are vivid descriptions of the author’s own attempts at experiencing at first hand what it must have been like to be active in combat. Working as a sous-chef in a recreated field kitchen, he takes part in a re-enactment and later spends three cold, hungry, solitary days and nights in a restored trench. Throughout, the author’s focus remains firmly on food, or rather the lack of it, and everything related to it: production, distribution, preparation, quantities, and how these issues influenced the outcome of the war. Recipes from wartime sources conclude each chapter. Hunger makes for a gripping and at times harrowing read. Written by a historian from a country that was neutral during the war, this work offers a new perspective on the conflict on the centenary of the armistice.
|Dimensions||134 × 210 mm|
Rick Blom has an MA in history and worked for more than ten years as a journalist and chief editor for a national magazine in his home country of the Netherlands. He now runs a tourist marketing company established in more than twenty-five countries.
Paperback / softback