In The Extinguished Flame: Olympians Killed in The Great War, Nigel McCrery chronicles the lives of the 135 athletes who perished in World War I. The volume is composed like an encyclopedia, and each entry has a short biographical sketch, the Olympic event, and a photo, if available. The athletes are separated by the year in which they died on the battlefield.
The Extinguished Flame is a fitting tribute to those who competed for their country and defended it as well. It is clear that the book is well-researched, a worthy effort to honor those who fought bravely on the frontlines.
However, there are frustrating aspects to the book. The author should not be faulted for the lack of information available for a specific individual, but some entries are so brief that one profile tends to meld into another in the reader’s mind. The writing style of McCrery is also somewhat dry and formulaic. As a result, the interest in The Extinguished Flame may be limited to those who study World War I.
I was given a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.