Aug. 4, 2006
Retiring MU Professor’s Book Featured by National History Book Club
By HNN Staff
Huntington, WV (HNN) – A retiring Marshall University professor’s latest book has been selected as a featured publication by the influential National History Book Club and has drawn national attention after the Book Club circulated a lengthy review praising it.
“Hell in the Holy Land: World War I in the Middle East,” by Dr. David R. Woodward, was published earlier this year by the Lexington University Press of Kentucky.
Woodward’s book focuses on British soldiers in Egypt and Palestine during World War I and provides a description of how soldiers coped with the harsh conditions and the dangers they faced. He points out that these soldiers were embroiled in a situation as brutal as that on the Western front, but their plight was hardly appreciated or understood at the time.
Woodward, a professor of Modern European and Russian history whose work has focused on World War I and its diplomatic and military relations, is retiring in mid-August after 41 years spent in the classroom, 36 of them at Marshall.
The National History Book Club circulates information about 200 books annually to its members. The group selected Woodward’s book as a featured publication and distributed flyers promoting it to its members nationwide. The book drew high praise from Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Robert A. Doughty, former head of the department of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, who reviewed it.
“In the final analysis, Woodward has written a remarkable book that adds considerably to our understanding of war in the Middle East,” Doughty wrote.
“British soldiers in the Middle East truly had a hellish experience, one that the readers of Woodward’s book will never forget.”
Author and historian Thomas C. Kennedy noted, “Woodward’s work not only reveals a command of past and current scholarship but demonstrates a superlative research effort in uncovering the thought and horrors of otherwise voiceless soldiers and junior officers and fitting these into a lucid narrative account of the overall campaign.”
“I never dreamed that the National History Club would pick up one of my books and circulate it nationally,” Woodward said. “I never imagined that it would get such great circulation. It is a source of great pride to me.”
Woodward is the author of four books and numerous other publications. “Hell In the Holy Land” has been published in the United Kingdom under the title “Forgotten Soldiers of the First World War: Lost Voices From the Middle Eastern Front.”
Woodward may be reached at (304) 525-7404.