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Britain and the Great War, 1914-18 [Paperback]

John Bourne

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Book Description

1 Oct 1989
The central theme of this study is the impact on British society of the massive and unprecedented demands of the army. Thus, the social as well as the military and political aspects are covered, with primacy given to the war's effect on government, economics and national values. It is argued that the importance of the war from the British point of view lies in two things: firstly, it was the first time that Britain put a truly national army into the field; and secondly, it was the only time Britain faced a foe of greater military and industrial power.

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Britain and the Great War, 1914-18 + A Companion to World War I (Blackwell Companions to World History) (Wiley Blackwell Companions to World History)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Good Perspectives Here 11 Jan 2014
By J. R. Trtek - Published on
This book has essentially three sections: The first gives a general military history of the war, divided into chapters dealing, respectively, with 1914, 1915, 1916-17, and 1918. The second is an overview of British political and military leadership in the war, at various levels. The last portion touches on social impacts of the war, from economic effects to influences on class relationships and the moral tone of society. Along the way, the author provides some useful assessments and judgments, and while now and then the prose got a little turgid, on the whole the narrative doesn't bog down as, well, the war itself did. There are many more exhaustive works on the subject, of course, but for insights regarding policies and people, this is really rather good.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow book 25 Oct 2005
By Devl's Advocate - Published on
Bourne, an academic historian, apparently has not cared to do any original researches before writing this book, as it is based on published, secondary works and there is no bibliography at the end, surely a sign of something amiss, namely scholarship, analysis and judgement, a sad reflection on the author indeed.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and eminently readable 24 April 2004
By Schmerguls - Published on
I found this an excellent book. Its footnotes constitute a good commentary on World War One books and show that in Britain a lot of good writing is going on on that subject. The first four chapters give a military history of the war. Then there are three excellent chapters on the politicians and generals of the war. Finally there are good chapters on "Men and Munitions." "Comradeship, Discipline, and Morale" and "Values and Ideas." One must agree with the author when he says the only thing worse than a war won is a war lost. This book is a stunning and worthwhile reading experience.
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