'Highly-lucid history…succeeds at emblazoning the individual human cost as well as the wider perspective.' Daily Mail
'An immensely readable epitome of one of the most complex events in history.' Paul Johnson, Evening Standard
‘Gilbert never forgets – and never allows his readers to forget – that the "embattled armies" were composed of millions of individuals, that it is the human experience and the human cost that matters. Numerous individual sidelights, culled from many sources, illuminate this immensely readable book…Gilbert's grasp of his material is enviable and the result admirable. This is everyman's history of the First World War.' Lyn Macdonald, The Sunday Times
'A stunning achievement.' Publishers Weekly
‘A rewarding and significant book…splendidly recreates…(the) battles' widening circles of impact on families, friends, lovers and generations to come.’ New York Times Book Review
'Gilbert's book is a remarkable achievement. Magnificent.' Dominic Hibberd, Times Higher Education Supplement
'A life-long aversion to reading about history was triumphantly cured by Martin Gilbert's immense and absorbing work…He makes the scope and sweep of the era read like a god novel except that we would never believe these events if they were fiction.' Allan Shiach, Scotsman
From the Back Cover
The First World War was the first all-European conflict for a hundred years. Two sets of powerful states hurled against each other everything military science could devise, including poison gas. At its end, four empires had been destroyed and nine million soldiers lay dead.
Martin Gilbert's magnificent history of this terrible conflict charts week by week the events and horrors of the battles on the Eastern and Western Fronts, of the war at sea and in the air, and the effects of the war far from the front line. Written with the mastery of historical narrative which makes him such a compelling historian, and the consideration of the human experience of war that has become his hallmark, Martin Gilbert's account is not only the definitive history – it is also a testimony to the millions who lost their lives.
"Martin Gilbert – our greatest living factual historian – has produced an immensely readable epitome of one of the most complex events in history."
PAUL JOHNSON, 'Evening Standard'
"Masterly…Gilbert does not shrink from drawing the long bow of history in a way that is both revealing and salutary. His grasp of his material is enviable and the result admirable. This is everyman's history of the First World War."
LYN MACDONALD, 'Sunday Times'
"Gilbert's book is a remarkable achievement. More than most historians of the Great War, he conveys not only the vastness and dreadfulness of it all, the racial hatreds, the ridiculous ambitions, the long-nursed stories of pride, envy and resentment but also the courage, devotion and endurance that enabled true values to survive. Magnificent."
DOMIMIC HIBBERD, 'Times Higher Education Supplement'
"A life-long aversion to reading about history was triumphantly cured by Martin Gilbert's immense and absorbing work…He makes the scope and sweep of the era read like a good novel except that we would never believe these events if they were fiction."
ALLAN SHIACH, 'Scotsman'
About the Author
Martin Gilbert was born in London in 1936 and educated at Highgate School and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1962, he became research assistant to Randolph Churchill and, after Randolph’s death, succeeded him as biographer of Sir Winston Churchill. He is the author of many works of history and lives in London and Jerusalem.