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Peace and War: Britain in 1914
 
 

Peace and War: Britain in 1914 [Kindle Edition]

Nigel Jones
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

'Lavishly illustrated ... Jones has a hawk's eye for fascinating historical detail' Sunday Express.

'A terrific account that makes a strong bid for inclusion in any collection' BBC History Magazine.

'Excellent ... an exceedingly valuable history of the year as well as being a damned good read ... a brilliant primer for the First World War' The Army Review Service.

'A fascinating introduction to the First World War ... a recommended read for anyone interested in discovering what life was really like for ordinary people at this time' Discover Your History.

'Elegant and enjoyable ... A superb snapshot of Britain ... an outstanding introduction to the first year of the Great War' Irish Times.

Product Description

1914 dawned with Britain at peace, albeit troubled by faultlines within and threats without: Ireland trembled on the brink of civil war; suffragette agitation was assuming an ever more violent hue; and suspicions of Germany's ambitions bred a paranoia that was expressed in a rash of 'invasion scare' literature.

Then when shots rang out in Sara-jevo on 28 June, they set in train a tumble of diplomatic dominos that led to Britain declaring war on Germany.

Nigel Jones depicts every facet of a year that changed Britain for ever. From gun-running in Ulster to an attack by suffragettes on a Velasquez painting in the National Gallery; from the launch of HMHS Britannic to cricketer J.T. Hearne's 3000th first-class wicket; from the opening of London's first nightclub to the embarking for Belgium of the BEF, he traces the events of a momentous year from its benign domestic beginnings to its descent into the nightmare of European war.

Please note: This ebook is hand-crafted. Well not quite, but it is certainly a cut above the rest; great care has been taken to make sure it is both beautiful and highly functional.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 22070 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (16 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EN8OT5M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #763 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good evocation of a watershed year 5 Aug 2014
By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book recounts in a very readable form the Britain of the eve of the First World War in all its complexity. The author shows how the stereotype of a peaceful and sunny Edwardian summer rudely shattered by War at the height of a hot summer is only one perspective, that of a small proportion at the top of society. In reality Britain was a very divided country and full of conflict and violence. Ireland was about to erupt into civil war (when The Times announced on 27 July that "there can no longer be the slightest doubt that the country is now confronted with one of the greatest crises in the history of the British race" it was not at all referring to the Balkans). The suffragettes' campaign was reaching levels of violence and meeting with levels of counter violence arguably both greater than in any social protest movement of more recent years. Industrial relations were sharply confrontational and social divisions yawned widely. The War did temporarily put a halt to many of these crises with its all embracing nature affecting the whole of society. The author does a good job of showing the fundamental nature of this watershed in the middle of the year. He did spend a little too much time on painters and the Bloomsbury set for me and I largely skimmed those chapters. A large number of interesting photographs as well, most of which I don't recall seeing in other books. Very good.  4.5/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Juanjo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is immensely readable, providing a real feeling of the UK's politics and society in the years preceding the outbreak of the Great War. Accompanying photographs, many from the writer's collection, provide vivid graphic images of UK society in times we have long forgotten

Well worth reading!
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By Jl Adcock TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Nigel Jones's book on Britain in 1914 is readable enough, but feels quite uneven in how he goes about tackling the various strands and bringing them together in a slightly more compelling narrative. As a primer on what Britain was like one hundred years ago, and on the eve of war, it's pretty good, and the political context and background to the unfolding European war is done well. Anyone wanting to cement their GCSE-level knowledge of the time could do worse that read this book.

Chapters on the brewing unrest in Ireland, the suffragette movement, the social scene and various arts and literature that were popular and influential at the time are mixed bags to be honest - some are interesting, some aren't, but overall they add some valuable context to the picture Jones creates. In the chapters buidling up to the war and the start of the conflict in the summer of 1914, the narraitve becomes more spiky and sarcastic, with Jones having little time for the shenanagins of various politicians and members of the royal family who were clearly incompetent and ill-prepared for what was to come.

If you enjoy the usual cliches about war clouds gathering, Europe spiralling to war, and countries being drawn into the vortex of war, then you will find much to relish in these final chapters.

Kindle readers should note that the book is far shorter than you might be led to believe. The content stops around the 68% mark, leaving the remaining sections to browse or ignore - as they are lengthy ideas on further reading and a long index.. The photos and illustrations too - inevitably - leave much to be desired on the Kindle screens.

So, the paper version may be preferable here for many, although the actual quality of the content to my mind doesn't justify the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peace and War: Britain in 1914 22 Jun 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
‘Tis the season, to be sure for books about 1914, the outbreak of WWI etc. This is the second book I have read recently about Britain in 1914 (the other was The Fateful Year: 1914 by Mark Bostridge) and what life was like leading up to, and in the first few months of the War; what were the front of mind topics for people living their daily lives before the shock of War became a reality, and how did they then cope with the whole change of life and requirements on them?

Like Bostridge’s book, this book takes some of the key events and items of the year – suffragettes, the Ulster troubles, artists and poets, and puts them into perspective so we can get some idea of how these impacted on day to day lives of British and English people in 1914. This book also offers interesting information on the building of the big ships – the Dreadnoughts, but also the race to offer bigger cruiseliners such as the Britannic and the Titanic and their like. There are also chapters on the London club scene, the bright young social things in their last Season – and then the assassination of Franz Ferdinand changed everything. The last third of the book talks about the country moving into war mode, the ways in which people demonstrated their patriotism and their fears of what the war would bring, and mobilisation. The book ends at Christmas 1914.

Bostridge’s book was a workmanlike read, and this book differs in that it is more of a coffee-table sized book. There are numerous and very interesting photographs which relate directly to the text, and the items that the author has used to highlight Britain in 1914 are definitely relevant and informative as well as entertaining to us at a remove of 100 years. A very interesting and worthwhile book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well researched account of the first part of the 20th...
. I really enjoyed this very thorough portrait of England before the First World War and would strongly recommend it to any one who is interested the social and political... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good read
Published 1 month ago by Jane Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating review of life and society in the years ...
A fascinating review of life and society in the years leading up to the first war. Well written and informative.
Published 1 month ago by Angie B
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting and fascinating
Published 3 months ago by Lynn Gausden
3.0 out of 5 stars Lot of repetition and could not forgive launching of Titanic's ...
Lot of repetition and could not forgive launching of Titanic's sister ship into Lough Neagh. Presumably it is still there as it is an inland lough
Published 3 months ago by J. C. Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
i was a bit confused but it grew on me
Published 3 months ago by Stan T.
2.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable easy read looking at life in Britain in 1914 with ...
An enjoyable easy read looking at life in Britain in 1914 with a thematic approach.

Marred by the repeated use of cliches and sloppy mistakes such as the following in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by J Hall
3.0 out of 5 stars It promises much then continues on the same worn path of describing...
This book is most frustrating. It promises much then continues on the same worn path of describing great men and women and their thoughts and actions. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Richard Styles
4.0 out of 5 stars The year the Great War started
A very readable account of the year the Great War started. The author's style is very readable. I enjoyed it while learning some history.
Published 6 months ago by Paul M. Mather
4.0 out of 5 stars What was Great Britain like before the Great War.
I found it fascinating reading before the outbreak of the Great War. To read that W.G. Grace felt that cricket should be stopped and the players should sign up for the war was a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Michael James Talbot
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