War and Peace, But Mainly Peace

War, and ways to avoid it, are on the agenda at the bookshop this summer, with a couple of exciting readings. Tom Kuhn, Esther Leslie and Oliver Chanarin will be talking about Bertolt Brecht’s powerful pacifist book War Primer, and Sheila Fitzpatrick will be presenting her account of her late husband Mischka Danos’s escape from war-ravaged Germany at the end of the Second World War. Here’s our booklist of some interesting related titles.

War Primer

Bertolt Brecht

From the publisher:

A terrifying series of short poems by one of the world’s leading playwrights, set to images of World War II


Peace Talks

Sir Andrew Motion

From the publisher:

Part of the sequence begun in Laurels and Donkeys, this title looks back to conflicts of the past: to the ‘war to end all wars’; to Rupert Brooke on his final journey; to ...


Under Fire

Henri Barbusse

From the publisher:

Follows the fortune of a French battalion during the First World War. This title presents a critique of inequality between ranks, the incomprehension of those who have not ...

All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria Remarque, translated by Brian O. Murdoch

The best of all anti-war novels was banned in Germany in 1930, two years after its publication. In 1933 it was burned by the Nazis. Remarque had by then escaped to the United States, where All ...