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180 of 195 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
Whiles lions war and battle for their dens,
Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity." Wm. Shakespeare. King Henry VI, Part 3.

Max Hasting's "Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War" is a masterfully crafted account of Europe's descent into the apocalypse known as the Great War. It is a study that focuses on Europe's sabre-rattling lions who led millions...
Published 12 months ago by Leonard Fleisig

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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well written but superficial
This is a very well written introduction but Hastings is a journalist, not a historian. He makes unjustified leaps and confuses categories of information; for instance, he fails to distinguish between aggression in the political sphere and aggression in the military sphere, which seem to be rather different in terms of desirability and effect. He criticizes Christopher...
Published 4 months ago by interested bystander


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his WW2 work, 31 Jan 2014
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Compelling on the personal not so good on the strategic issues. The flavor of the times is well evoked by numerous quotations from diaries and letters.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Thoughts, 29 Jan 2014
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So many aspects of the conflict covered that when you stop to think and analyse seem to make 'sense'. It is still difficult to get the popularist or even propaganda view out of one's head. The leap into a new world of industrial warfare must have been terrifying and confusing for a generation of Victorians who had been fighting colonial wars and brought up on Napoleonic battles. I still find it hard to fathom why after a few months of static trench warfare both sides didn't realize a stalemate was going to prevail and find a way to stop sooner. I enjoyed this book,my first on a kindle. I love the ability to highlight and add my own notes. I just wish the maps could be zoomed to appreciate the detail and cross reference various locations described.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate, 25 Jan 2014
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An intelligent and typically wide ranging, engrossing analysis from the master of recent past and contemporary military history: quite wonderful. This compliments his World War 2 book which was equally classy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1914 a year that will remain in history, 20 Jan 2014
This review is from: Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardcover)
Oh history reveled,quite exceptional writing and in depth investigation.Sir Max you have done it again.I only hope that you will let us have a further volume on this subject this year.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hastings at his best, 14 Jan 2014
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J. Bell (Hertfordshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardcover)
Well written, gripping all that I expect from Max Hastings. Equally as good as any thing he has written before and I look forward to the next book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Catastrophe: Europe Goes To War by Max Hastings, 14 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardcover)
The book arrived in good time. It was a Christmas present for somone who had received a copy of a Max Hastings book on a previous occasion. The book was well received because he had enjoyed the previous book. The book was in good condition having been packed securely and delivered promptly.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of a great tragedy, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardcover)
Hastings as usual brings a fine mind to this tome. A required read for anyone who is interested in the great war.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardcover)
Excellent read according to my husband who is an armchair historian. Best christmas read ever he says! The senseless stupidity of war is plainly evident!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book., 9 Jan 2014
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Readable, pitched at just the right level for the non-specialist reader who nevertheless wants more than just a superficial treatment of the topic. Very good at explaining the context or wider backgroundof, and how the mix of social and economic factors influenced political and military events. Useful summary of the historiography surrounding the causes or "blame" for the First World War. Possibly the book would have benefited from providing a little more information for non-military leaders on why particular technologies, tactics or weapons had by 1914 become effective or obsolete.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardcover)
Max Hastings again presents a revealing insight into a important part of our nation's history. He does it a form that, I think, is easily understood and very informative.
A recommended purchase for those interested in the history of world conflicts.
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Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914
Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 by Max Hastings (Hardcover - 12 Sep 2013)
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