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The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Hew Strachan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.49
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Book Description

9 Nov 2000 Oxford Illustrated History
The First World War was a war of extraordinary intensity and one which has shaped the history of the twentieth century. It was the first conflict in which aeroplanes, submarines, and tanks played a significant role, the first in which casualties on the battlefield outnumbered those from disease. The USA's entry into the war and the part it played in the peace settlement signalled the arrival on the world stage of a new great power. The victors at Versailles took nationalism as one of their guiding principles; they also aimed at instituting their vision of liberalism and even democracy; the political consequences are still being played out.

In this extensively illustrated book, an international team of experts explores the war in all its different aspects. From its causes to its consequences, from the Western Front to the Eastern, from the human consequences assessed. Chapters on economic mobilization, the impact on women, the role of propaganda, and the rise of socialism establish the wider social context of fighting which took place at sea and in the air and which ranged on land from the Flanders trenches to the Balkan mountains and the deserts of the Middle East.

While the war was fought on many fronts and in many different ways, the unifying experience of participants was that of the trenches. The legacy of 'the war to end wars' in poetry and prose, in collective memory and political culture is with us still, eighty years after that first Armistice Day.

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The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War + The Great War: 1914-1918 (Modern Wars In Perspective) + The First World War: A New History
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New Ed edition (9 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192893254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192893253
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 17.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

If you buy only one book about the First World War you would be hard-pressed to do better than this one. From the dust jacket reproduction of C.R.W. Nevinson's harrowing painting, French Troops Resting, to the clear, well-presented series of maps at the end, it displays the very highest standards of production. In between the covers it is positively brimming with an extensive selection of photographs, posters and paintings from or about the period. Some are well-known though many are less so and have clearly been rooted out in a thorough and wide-ranging archive search. This alone brings something to the book that few others on the subject can match: the ability to evoke the spirit of the time through the imagery and sights--though thankfully not the sounds and smells--of the period, transporting the mind of reader back in time.

This, however, is only one aspect of the book. The other is a series of 23 authoritative, scholarly essays by renowned historians on various aspects of the war. The subjects are comprehensive in scope, taking in the expected areas such as the origins of the war, the strategies employed by the Central and Entente powers, the war at sea and in the air, and economic warfare. There are also fascinating chapters on Mutinies and Military Morale, Women, War, and Work, The Challenge to Liberalism: The Politics of the Home Fronts and finally a touching and poignant chapter, Memory and the Great War, which examines the haunting legacy of the cataclysm. As the war gradually recedes from living memory this book will surely become a significant part of that legacy for current and future generations--lest they forget. -- Alisdair Bowles --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A remarkable series of essays of a variety of issues raised by the Great War.... Highly recommended for most libraries."--Library Journal"Editor Strachan has commissioned 20 historians to summarize present thought about the July 1914 crisis, the military course of the war, the social and economic strains it exerted in all the belligerents, and its conclusion in revolutions and treaties. The war shattered illusions of every kind, starting with the belief that it would be brief; the accounts of why it was not are pithily rendered, reinforced by powerful illustrations of the western front's moonscapes, among other scenes of the war. Strachan's writers also assess the war outside Europe and the nascent nationalisms it unleashed. Readers will find this comprehensive work a captivating introduction to the Great War."--Gilbert Taylor in Booklist"Strachan has chosen wisely, and offers a well-conceived...introduction. In all, a worthwhile contribution to WWI literature."--Kirkus Reviews"The essays are detailed, scholarly and comprehensive.... A wonderful reference to have in your library."--The Seattle Times

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Kosutnjak Park, Belgrade, mid-May 1914: Gavrilo Princip fires his revolver at an oak tree, training for his part in the plot. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, if somewhat superficial 30 April 2001
This book offers a broad view of the First World War, which is both the book's strength and its weakness. The book is a collection of essays addressing various topics and periods in the war, each written by the leading experts in the field. While this generally ensures knowledgable overviews, the lack of continuity of interpretation (so were the Germans suffering from a lack of artillery in 1918 or weren't they?) can be annoying at times. Furthermore, the limitations on the length of the various chapters means that even the most important subject receives only a cursory treatment at best. Overall, it's a good introduction to the war, though one that should be supplemented by additional reading in the bibliographies provided.
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3.0 out of 5 stars useful start 30 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a collection of essays, some more useful than others but overall, a good start to researching 1st World war
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good skim 3 Feb 2014
By Mr M.R.Watkinson TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is not, as one review says, the work of *an* expert, but of many; Hew Strachan is the editor, rather than than the author, and is not even a contributor per se. It may be a little unfair to award an excellent overview of WWI less than 5*, but as another reviewer points out, the fact that it is an overview is a weakness as well as a strength.

The production of the hardback version of this (which is the one I own) is of high quality, which makes the best of the illustrations unlike, for example, the cheap paper used in Random House's Forgotten Voices series. A nice touch is the inclusion of some 2 dozen colour plates. Inevitably, given the lack of colour photography at the time (it was not unknown, but was very much in its infancy at the time), most of these are paintings & posters (4 are modern photographs; 2 of commemorations, one of a genuine Mark V tank; the fourth would appear to be of the only flying original SE5, part of the Shuttleworth Collection). In addition to that, many of the illustrations, both colour & black & white, I have not seen elsewhere. From the point of view of information, it is an excellent overview, on the whole.

Its weaknesses, however, are that, at 350-odd pages it is rather too short, and the "Illustrated" in the title is a bit of a misnomer. Most overview histories of such a large & complex subject run to several hundred pages more than this. It does itself a disservice by trying to compress too much. As for the illustrations, whilst they are reasonably plentiful, I have seen other books with as many that don't call themselves "Illustrated". Therefore, whilst the quality & variety is good, the number perhaps doesn't warrant the claim. Finally, it is worth noting that there seems to be a new edition due out, unsurprisingly, in April 2014, which is a little longer at around 420 pages. I obviously cannot comment on that; for this edition 4* seems, to me, to be a fair review.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Accessible summary by one of the real experts 25 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Strachan is one of the main authorities on the war. Here what's especially useful is the way he makes clear the global nature of the conflict, putting
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