What food rarely takes center stage, spans
nearly all cultures, is refreshing in the sweltering summer heat and
warms our bones in the bitter, colder months? Why, it’s soup, my
Basil Balian was growing up in Iraq, everybody was reading a series of
19th century over-the-top stories of dark deeds and derring-do by a
French writer, Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail. Rocambole, the unlikely
hero of these tales, moves from bad guy to good guy in the course of
numerous books charting his story.
In his compelling new history, The Beauty and The Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War,
historian Peter Englund has chosen firsthand accounts from 20 very
different and disparate individuals who either fought in the war or were
touched in some fashion by “The Great War,” as it has been called.