Posters of the First World War Author:Maurice Rickards America — Austria — Britain — France — Germany — Italy — Russia... — Born in the leisurely days at the end of the nineteenth century, the poster suddenly came of age in August 1914. In a world without radio and television, the poster was a major medium of mass communication. The war required that men and materials be flung at each other in increasing... more » profusion, and the poster was a vital munition of war -- a power supply of motivation and morale. It did not fail.
The battlefields where millions died have grown green again. But the posters that helped to bring men to the fight remain unchanged. They speak with the same merciless urgency, the same command and conviction, as they did when they first appeared. Whether they are viewed as works of art (which many undoubtedly are) or as works of social reference, or merely as man's capacity for harm and heroism, their overall impact is unforgettable. The combination of allied and enemy posters, arranged face to face across the pages of this volume, gives them special impact. Whatever their language, the universality of their exhortation reveals the same heroic figures, the same wounded, the same orphans and refugees, the same fears.
No matter what their nationality, there is a strange companionship among them.
Maurice Rickards, who is himself a poster artist -- and incidentally a lifelong pacifist -- has selected and written the informative introduction to this collection, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1918 Armistice. It is a challege to us all. Here, summed up in two hundred and fifty posters, is the disparity, the futility and the dignity of the human condition.
Note: number of pages not provided because the pages beyond the commentary are not numbered. Commentary by the author is 32 pages long, and accounts for approximately 1/3 of the book. The remainder of the book is filled with war posters from a number of countries, each one labeled with the country and, when available, the artist. Captions include translation of the text of foreign posters to English, when the posters themselves are not in English. There are posters from more countries than are listed above, for example, Poland, Greece, South Africa, Australia, and Hungary are also represented in this book.« less