During World War I, Americans and British were riveted by the invasion and occupation of Belgium. Over 5,500 innocent civilians were executed in August 1914, over 2 million fled to the Netherlands, France, and Britain, and the 5 million remaining in the country faced mass starvation. The great medieval historian Henri Pirenne (1862-1935) provides a detailed, gripping account of the occupation. He describes the hunger, the deprivations, the unemployment, the arbitrary arrests and deportations, the indignities of home invasions and confiscations, the censorship, the conscription of workers, the dismantling and destruction of Belgian factories, and the administrative division of the country. Though Pirenne himself was arrested in March 1916 for resistance to the German regime, he writes about the occupiers calmly and dispassionately. Belgium and the First World War comprehensively surveys the catastrophe and chronicles the stoicism and the resiliency with which Belgians responded.