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Great Battles of the Great War [Hardcover]

Michael Stedman , Ed Skelding
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 16.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 July 1999
Linking with a six part television programme (to be shown on ITV in November) covering the history of Gallipoli, The Somme and Ypres this book combines contemporary imagery with atmospheric photographs, revealing the very essence of these places. Quality photography is matched by powerful commentary encompassing the grand sweep of the Great War sustained by an intimate local knowledge.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd; Television tie-in edition edition (27 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850527023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850527025
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 26 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,459,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Author

Evocative insight into the history and sentiments of battle.
This book is my way of bringing insight to those of you seeking understanding of how some of the Twentieth Century's greatest battles have entered modern consciousness and sentiment. More than anything experienced by individuals the collective experience of the Great War has shaped many present day British attitudes to European economic and security matters. Great Battles of the Great War takes you on a journey through the experience of war shared by so many between 1914 and 1918 in the hope that readers can empathise with those distant participants and learn something of how that generation's tragedy can illuminate what we do and experience today.

My book is not a battlefield guide. Nor is it an attempt to create a "then and now" montage. It is however, through the use of Ed Skelding's evocative photographs, an opportunity for readers to visualise the participant's experience and to understand something of how these battlefields' powerful presence can move any visitor's sentiments. My hope is that the text will stimulate your desire to find out more of how history's lessons can be understood through visits to these remarkable places.

The book contains hundreds of contemporary and present day photographs, many in colour. Each image is meaningfully captioned and the imagery of the war is carefully integrated within the text. Throughout that text there runs a commentary which places the conflicts at Gallipoli, on the Somme and Passchendaele into the proper context of the Great War's chronology and progress.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A coffee-table history of 3 battles. 31 Jan 2000
In concept, this is an unusual and, at first sight, attractive book. Imaginatively illustrated and with apparently well-crafted text, it sits nicely on a coffee table and serves as a useful primer to the study of Gallipoli, the Somme and Ypres - providing two "chapters" on each.
As a history, it is incoherent and very limited in scope, however, concentrating on the imagery of these battles rather than on serious study. The storyline jumps about inexplicably and is so packed with cliché and repetitive phraseology that the reader stumbles frequently, becoming (in this case at least) bemused by its clumsiness. This sentence, from one of 6 paragraphs on airpower in the 20th century that mention WW2 as a "moment in history", for example, hints at the overall quality of the text:
"Throughout July the work of the Royal Flying Corps in the gaining of supremacy was fought out as a grim battle above the positions below."
The English is so poor in fact - especially in the captions of some photographs -...
For its illustrations, I do not regret having received this Leo Cooper volume as a gift. I would be very wary, however, about ever putting another on my wish list and one has to hope that the publishers will do better next time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content and production 14 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Michael Stedman is a knowledgeable and authoritative writer on the Great War,this latest work is skilfully written and produced.This book will add to the knowledge of those who already have an interest in WW1 and is certain to stimulate an audience relatively new to the subject.The discerning reader is sure to feel a need to visit the sites of the three battles, stand alone, quietly at the Thiepval Memorial, Tyne Cot cemetery or in Gully Ravine Gallipoli and then you will clearly understand the purpose and depth of this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First class book with imaginative pictures 18 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This is an excellent book by the well known Michael Stedman, with excellent photographs by Ed Skelding. Mike has an impressive knowledge of the Great War and has published a number of books on the subject. What he has to say is well worth reading and whilst some of the photographs may be well known to Great War aficionados, others are not so well known. I am intrigued by Ed Skelding's marrying of old and new which, whilst perhaps not readily acceptable to some "Old Sweats", will help newcomers to the subject to understand what it was like to "Be there". My view is that the book will interest most those who have only a sketchy knowledge of the Great War, (although old hands will also find much to please them) and I have no doubt that after reading it, they will have itchy feet to get out to the battlefields and walk the ground. If I have any technical criticism at all, as a keen photographer, I would have preferred a more "Contrasty" look to the pictures, but I cannot fault them for "Content". I recommend this book as a welcome addition to the ever-expanding literature of the Great War and I wish Mike & Ed good luck with it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
John Giles got the balance right between pictures and genuinely informative text but this effort, while well intentioned is far too bland and general to make any significant contribution to the genre. John Giles (despite his idealogical histrionics) did it better. Give it a miss.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars seen it all before 29 Jun 2007
By Clio - Published on
Done far better by John Giles. Michael Stedman brings a touch of class but heshould have known better than to become involved with this bargain basement venture
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Images of the Great War, then and now 11 Nov 2000
By A. M. Gaffney - Published on
This book covers the Great Battles in Ypres, The Somme and Gallipoli in 1916. It contains many color photographs taken by Ed Skelding whose recent TV Programs covering the same subject met with critical acclaim when broadcast last year in the UK. The acknowledged author on the subject, Michael Stedman adds his unique story telling skills to what is an excellent introduction to the subject.
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