With the centennial of World War I beginning in 2014, Nels Anderson's World War I Diary, edited by Allan Kent Powell, is a timely and engaging firsthand account of America's involvement in "the war to end all wars." This account sees the war through the eyes of a Latter-day Saint private fighting with the American Expeditionary Force in Europe.
Anderson notes, "Writing a diary requires a lot of work and it requires a lot of scheming to find the time to write. Often I could get no candles to write by so had to get by a fire. Mine is the only diary I know of in the Battalion" (189). Powell added, "The keeping of diaries was, in fact, against army and navy regulations. . . . While some diaries were kept by soldiers in France, it is easy to understand why, under battlefield conditions, it was such a difficult endeavor and why so few diaries were kept" (267).