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Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918: WWI and Its Violent Climax | [Joseph E. Persico]

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918: WWI and Its Violent Climax

The best-selling author of Roosevelt's Secret War traces the last day of World War I, weaving together the experiences of the famous, such as President Wilson, General Pershing, and Douglas MacArthur, and the unsung and unremembered.
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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Roosevelt's Secret War traces the last day of World War I, weaving together the experiences of the famous, such as President Wilson, General Pershing, and Douglas MacArthur, and the unsung and unremembered.

With peace talks underway, the beaten Germans proposed an interim cease-fire to spare lives, but the French Allied commander, General Ferdinand Foch, refused. Hostilities would not cease, Foch insisted, before the appointed hour of the Armistice. Thus, even on the last day, the Allies were still launching full scale offenses, and both sides bombarded each other until the final minute of the agreed upon cease fire: 11 a.m., November 11, 1918. The last hours pulsated with unbearable tension as men in trenches, airmen in the sky, and sailors at sea hoped to escape the distinction of being the last to die in the War.

©2004 Joseph E. Persico; (P)2004 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"Effectively marshaling his source material, Persico powerfully reconstructs Armistice Day as an emblem of the war." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (50 )
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4.4 (14 )
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  •  
    David Houston, TX, USA 12-06-04
    David Houston, TX, USA 12-06-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beauty amidst savagery"

    Mr Persico tells the story of the Great War (as WWI was called until Sep 1, 1939). He begins with the last day of the war and then takes us back to the war's start in 1914; each chapter begins with Nov 11, 1918 and we are horrified to learn that even though the armistice has been set, Allied commanders are bent on carrying out offensives in which thousands more die on that last day. He provides a structure for the book by telling us of the military strategy used by both sides (largely throwing wave upon wave of men over the tops of the trenches into the thresher of machine guns), the military commanders and political personalities. But Persico's gift is in telling the story of the trenches from interviews and diaries of the men. He tells of the first use of precision artillery that killed so many and made more crazy from the sound and earthquake tremors of hours long barrages.
    There is such beauty to this story-in spite of the horrible loss of life and injury.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric New Ipswich, NH, USA 03-06-05
    Eric New Ipswich, NH, USA 03-06-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Opt for the Abridged Version"

    A personalized account of life on the front and battles in World War I, told largely from the documented record of those who were there.

    While very insightful, the unabridged version finds itself repetitive and at times tedious. I would therefore recommend the ABRIDGED version instead.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer sunnyvale, CA, USA 12-23-04
    Jennifer sunnyvale, CA, USA 12-23-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for History Buffs"

    This is a good book for anyone not familiar with the war. However, for those that know the war well, the book is repetitive and does not offer new or interesting insights.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Camarillo, CA, USA 12-11-05
    Ted Camarillo, CA, USA 12-11-05
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    "Excellent description of the scale of WWI"

    I thought this title did a wonderful job of describing the feeling of the times, the haughty arrogance of the commanders, the willingness to send masses of troops against the newly imployed machine gun, and the scale of battles with the troop losses are astounding. The book does a good job of describing battle, human feelings, and political atmosphere.

    It was very easy to listen to and one of those titles that I truly looked forward to. It also helped that the same person who narrated T-Rex (Jonathan Marosz).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David West Newton, MA, USA 04-05-05
    David West Newton, MA, USA 04-05-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Up close and personal"

    I enjoyed this book especially the author's strategy to start each chapter from the last day of the war. It is indeed horrifying to learn of the thousands of soldiers on all sides that lost their lives on 11-11-18. I do agree with other reviewers that there is some repetition and the first couple of chapters are a summary of how the war started -- if you know WWI then that aspect might not help - but if you don't - the detail is a chilling reminder of what went on for the day-to-day soldier, the senseless major battles and in some sense why there was a WWII.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Hood River, OR, United States 04-02-13
    Paula Hood River, OR, United States 04-02-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Poor narration"
    What did you love best about Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour?

    This is an excellent history of WWI.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator has a nice voice, but is a poor reader. He sounds as if he is not following the story at times, adding unnatural inflections and pronouncing words in odd ways, which detracts from the narrative.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael L Krogh 09-10-12
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    "Probably a better read than listen"

    The cinematic style of the narrative, cutting between multiple storylines, didn't really lend itself to an audiobook. Without some sort of strong cue (page breaks, long pauses, etc.) it becomes a little disorienting. But the material is excellent and it's definitely worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 05-20-06
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 05-20-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "madness...."

    I'm a second world war buff but have never dwelled into the first world war much.

    This brought that war, particularly it's closing minutes into vivid focus. That esteemed names in American military history such as Pershing escaped the wrath of the public for wasting lives without any reason or meaning is astounding. Just the description of what brought the war about is enough to make you ill.

    There are also glimpses into the blossoming characters that will be at the forefront of the Second World War - Patton, MacArthur and Hitler are seen before their emergence onto the world scene.

    It's historical and insightful in it's description of how a leaders bullheaded attitude can get thousands or millions killed. Something that needs to be remembered today.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gnarly1 Sacramento, CA USA 04-02-05
    Gnarly1 Sacramento, CA USA 04-02-05 Member Since 2004
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    "So Much For the Glory of War"

    Captures the horrors of WW I and the absurdity of the death of those who lost their lives after the armistice was signed, but before the war was "officially" ended at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918. Excellent narration.
    This book should be mandatory reading for any politician who wants to start a war, regardless of how "noble" the cause.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Eindhoven, Netherlands 01-07-05
    Marc Eindhoven, Netherlands 01-07-05
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    "All quiet on the western front, not really:("

    Having heard lot's of horrendous stories from my grandparents (who's parents fought in WW1) this book is shockingly true and verifyable.

    When visiting the US memorial in Oudenaerde, Belgium I was really surprised to read on it that US divisions were put in the line for a big offensive on 10th November 1918. The day before the end of the war?? I bought this book from Audible a few days after my visit as it explained the last idiotic push which was priced at more casualties than D-day.

    The author does a good job at describing the atrocities on a personal level, the book is fairly general in the outline as it tries to cover the entire war from a British/US/German perspective. It doesn't cover the East in detail or the fighting in the colonies/submarines of the time.

    The going back and forth timewise from 11-11-1918 to earlier in the war and back again is a novel concept but I found it a bit confusing at times. (Especially this being an audiobook).

    Finally the Narration is very well but this is not a book that will cheer you up, the voice of the narrator is appropriately mm.. grimmish if that is the correct english word.




    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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