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1914 The Year The World Ended Hardcover – 22 May 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (22 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857522361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857522368
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 610,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

PAUL HAM is a historian specialising in 20th century conflict, war and politics. Born and raised in Sydney, Paul has spent his working life in London, Sydney and Paris. His books have been published to critical acclaim in Australia, Britain and the United States, and include: 'Hiroshima Nagasaki', a controversial new history of the atomic bombings (HarperCollins Australia 2010, Penguin Random House UK 2011, & Pan Macmillan USA 2014-15); '1914: The Year The World Ended' (Penguin Random House 2013); 'Sandakan' (Penguin Random House 2011); 'Vietnam: The Australian War' and 'Kokoda' (both published by HarperCollins, 2007 and 2004). Paul has co-written two ABC documentaries based on his work: 'Kokoda' (2010), a 2-part series on the defeat of the Japanese army in Papua in 1942 (shortlisted for the New York Documentary prize); and 'All the Way' (2012), about Australia's difficult alliance with America during the Vietnam War, which he also narrated and presented (it won the UN's Media Peace prize). Paul is the founding director of Hampress, an independent ebook publisher, and a regular contributor to Kindle Single, Amazon's new 'short book' publishing platform, for which he has written '1913: The Eve of War' and 'Young Hitler', co-written 'Honey, We Forgot the Kids', and published several titles by other authors. Hampress welcomes your ideas! A former Australia correspondent for The Sunday Times (1998-2012), Paul has a Masters degree in Economic History from London School of Economics. He lives in Sydney and Paris, and takes time off now and then to organise the Big Fat Poetry Pig-Out, an annual poetry recital, for charity.

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Product Description

Book Description

A searing indictment of the rationale behind the FIrst World War and a shocking portrayal of what might have been

About the Author

Paul Ham is the author of the critically acclaimed Sandakan, Hiroshima Nagasaki, Vietnam: The Australian War and Kokoda. His latest book, 1914: The Year the World Ended, is being published by Random House in Britain in May 2014; while Hiroshima Nagasaki is being published in America in August 2014.

A former correspondent for the Sunday Times (between 1998-2012), Paul was born in Sydney and educated in Australia and Britain, where he completed a Masters degree in Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

He now writes history full-time, and lives in Sydney and Paris.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author has written books on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Vietnam, 1913, and Sandakan. He is a former Sunday Times correspondent. His academic credentials gained at the London School of Economics and Political Science are in the field of Economic History.

This is a basic yet solid narrative of the Great War. Descriptive not analytical. Although there is nothing new in the account it is a very good survey of the period before the war and a sound outline of the war itself.
The bibliography is good although some key French and Russian sources are noticeably missing. Chapter notes are also very good.

The book rests heavily, as the author readily admits, on the work of Strachan and other leading historians, that means it is based on solid reliable foundations. Inevitably, however, it reads at times like a summary of their views rather than the author's own opinions.

Chapters cover: the period 1870-1900; 1900-1914 and the war. His Appendices are useful covering casualties, diplomatic exchanges between the Powers, and Grey's address to the Commons-this is seldom given in detail and is very welcome. Of particular interest. but contentious, is the Epilogue entitled: 'The Year the World Ended'.

Given the nature of the book, the author at times gives an unbalanced account of certain key things,e.g. his statements on what was taught in staff colleges is wide of the mark. Likewise, he is wrong when he claims little notice was taken of the US Civil War. It was in fact studied in great depth. In discussing Britain's decision to go to war he fails to mention, as do most accounts, the fear that a victorious Germany would threaten our naval supremacy and hence our vital trade routes.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alan Paton on 8 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book mainly to see what it had to say about the assassination and the July Crisis, which accounts for about a third of the book.

The author's opinions in the main appear to be reasonable or at least arguable but he makes many slips and dubious or confusing assertions regarding what happened at that time. The style of writing doesn't help. In large parts it is like reading disjointed bullet points or excited newspaper headlines. It's as if the author was doing a brain dump. He clearly knows a lot but checking and editing have been sadly neglected. Here are a few examples.

P249. "Dimitrijevic and his henchmen selected the assassination squad: seven impoverished Bosnian youths" This is dubious. There is good research that shows at least three of the assassins independently and for their own reasons decided to assassinate the Archduke.

P261 "Tisza, a hardbitten political operator of pacifist inclinations .... one of those .... unafraid to articulate the prodding of their conscience. .... He sat quitely among them and seemed intent on trying to protect them from the consequences of their actions." This is highly unlikely! Tisza took a strong stand to protect Hungarian interests and as soon as he was assured of those he was just as supportive of war as everyone else. The Kaiser even said "What a man!". A few pages further on the book itself mentions the Kaiser's quote!

P282 The author says "With some relief, President Poincare, his new prime minister .... left Paris on 15 July for a long-planned state cruise to Russia" because Henriette Caillaux (the wife of a leading French politician) had been acquitted of murder. She wasn't acquitted until the 28 July when the French presidential party was on its way back.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PeterPink on 1 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I am not a historian or a terribly well informed person - tend to live in a box. Further, I recall history as one of the most boring subjects encountered at school.
So this book has been a pleasure. I cannot comment on the views from those more expert than I, but it more than met my needs to know about this horror that's a hundred years old this year - and in which my father fought: on the Somme. I assume that it is pretty well accurate in what it tells us, overall: and the way that it tells us is exemplary.
Ham uses words that do not send you running for the dictionary - no need to show you how clever he is. He constructs his sentences well, and communicates as would a good writer of books - rather than of texts. And above all else, he segments the truly vast amount of information into chapters that generally last less than ten pages, each of which coherently tells the tale of a particular element within the whole process of action and inaction across the power-holding world as it then was.
This makes it possible to read about a meaningful moment, and then to allow oneself to digest it for a while. Perhaps I shouldn't, but I have to confess that I find the whole process as Ham presents it rather exciting - like a good "Barchester Towers". I almost find myself syaing, at the end of each chapter, "oh no - I know what's coming" .
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