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First World War For Dummies (For Dummies (History, Biography & Politics) Paperback – 29 Apr 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (29 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118679997
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118679999
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

“…this beautifully constructed and richly detailed book goes into the complicated reasons behind the start of the war and tracks its progress in an easy–to–follow manner” (On: Yorkshire Magazine, June 2014) “This book is brilliant. Well–researched and full of anything you would want to know about World War 1” (Frost Magazine, June 2014) “The author succeeds in communicating the complexities of the whole issue in a straightforward, impartial and easy–to–read style… helping the reader to understand the Great War and all its many facets” (Leopard Magazine, July 2014)

From the Back Cover

Learn about: The complex causes that led to war Key battles on land and sea Generals whose plans could lead to triumph or disaster The reality of life on the frontline and the home front How the war changed the world The plain–English, easy–to–read guide to the First World War Explore the causes and clashes of the First World War with this engaging guide to the war to end all wars. From Europe, Africa and the Middle East to the Atlantic and Pacific, this book provides an essential overview of the lead–up to the war, the complex web of entangling treaties, the great battles (including Tannenberg, Gallipoli, Ypres, Verdun, the Somme and Vimy) and the aftermath that defined the worlds balance of power for decades. Understand the origins of the war dive in with an analysis of the causes of the First World War, the combatants, the rise of technology and more Be there at the beginning in Europe study the exuberant beginning of the war and the horror that soon unfolded as battle after battle resulted in a massive toll for all the armies involved Witness the world at war understand the nuances of the war as the conflict widened and drew in additional countries, the reality of trench warfare, the rise of U–boats and airplanes and the sinking of the Lusitania Investigate the home front explore civilian life, how women contributed to the war effort, political struggles and more Analyse the Armistice and aftermath dig into the details of the Russian Revolution, the collapse of Germany and the Treaty of Versailles Open the book and find: A glimpse of the world before the war Details of battles fought across the globe The roles of civilians, propaganda, protests and politics The effects of technology on this first modern war Discussions of the wars aftermath and long–term consequences The changing ways in which historians have viewed the war Places to visit, films to watch and authors to read to learn more

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Williams TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 July 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been reading about WW1 on and off for 40 years, and to be honest didn't have high expectations of this. I suppose I expected a fairly simplistic, over generalised account with a sort of 'talking down to the reader' style which so many books take when simplifying complex subjects into relatively short format. The book does indeed, assume very little if any prior knowledge. (For example there are icons indicating 'technical stuff' which often explain terminology ('alliance') which many will perhaps feel is a little redundant for themselves, but this strategy indicates that at least part of the target audience for the book is not library hardened, WW1 'enthusiasts'.)

The more I have read, the more my respect has grown for the book and I readily admit my early expectations were unfounded: this is a surprisingly sophisticated book. Though broadly chronological, it is not a continuous narrative and adopts a study guide type of format with lots of subheadings, 'sidebar' boxes, paragraphs focused on topics related to but not embedded in surrounding material. The coverage is very broad but with more depth and subtlety than one can reasonably expect in a book of this length. I can see the virtue, too, in the icons used in the margins to flag up the type of information/discussion that a particular paragraph might contain, such as 'key people', 'technological innovation' etc. In a sense, the whole thing reads (and it is very readable) like a superb set of notes on the war, with annotations that guide the reader through the amount of material and information needing to be absorbed.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Paul Ell HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book offers a reasonable introduction to WW1. It has a wide-ranging brief from a chapter on Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century, to the home front, to the post war settlement. It aims to cope with true bigginers to the subject summarising the countries involved and even defining terms such as theatres of war, fronts,battles etc. Significantly it does not just concentrate on the western front but places the war in a global context with sections on Africa, the Far East and Oceana.

Criticisms, well some of the chapter headings are perhaps misleading in the topics they cover. There's probably too much emphasis on the context of the war and the post-war situation as opposed to looking at the war itself. The chapters are a bit too broken down into small subsections for my taste and I think a more chronolical approach might have been better, especially in dealing with the military aspects of the War. I don't like the way readers are guided to a section of the book to clarify a matter referred to in another chapter when often there's only a line or two about the issue there. Finally some of the marginalia such as 'Remember' seem pretty random to me.

Overall though not a bad book to improve your knowledge of WW1.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Barbar TOP 100 REVIEWER on 13 July 2014
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I like this book! It's not only a great introduction to the First World War but is lucid and clear - a smart addition to the First World War literature out there.

It obviously deals at some length with the whys and wherefores of the start of WW1 - why did happen at all, in 1914, was it inevitable etc - the tensions of the great powers, the part imperialism had to play, the Balkans problem etc It also deals with the western front and the major battles fought as well as what happened on the high seas.

It dips into areas like the Eastern Front (for me it was a shame this part wasn't a little more expanded), the civilan side of things (as it calls the "blurring of the lines" i.e. trying to break the home front as well as the war front), and women's contribution to the war effort etc as well as the huge impact the russians bowing out of the war and then the Americans entering teh war had on the course of events.

It's not a small book - over 400 pages including the index. I would not necessarily say you should buy this book and no other - there are some great WW1 non-fiction tomes already on the market - but as a more in-depth intro it is hard to beat.
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By All of them Witches TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A very well constructed guide to the First World War though not being an authority on this particular conflict it is difficult to say with much certainty how much particular emphasis is justified on one particular aspect over another.
Some small observations, when discussing a certain aspect I would have liked some stats to have illustrated, provided more context to the point in question; e.g the small section on punishments for infractions it would have been useful to know what figures exist as far as numbers of men executed for desertion by the various armies military courts.
Another reviewer also raised an important omission as far as logistics in regards to transporting of troops and supply lines. I saw a documentary on the 2nd World War which really showed how 'make or break' it was to establish quick and efficient methods of moving enormous quantities of troops, food, armaments around and the tactical success and disasters of any failure in the supply line as well as the innovative designs (tinned food etc) which necessitated a sustained campaign. It would have been good to have maybe a few paragraphs on this to illustrate the huge effort that goes into 'war' especially without the benefit of many of the technological advances that were to become into being a few decades later. More pictures would have been good as well, I personally would have liked to have seen a few more maps and propaganda posters.
A very good read though and I learned a hell of a lot. Would be a really useful companion book to any more in-depth more typical text book types of book.
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