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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading...
This book looks at why the 20th century was the most violent in man's history, arguing that the various conflicts that took place between 1914 and 1953, from the start of WW1 to the end of the Korean War, were all part of one larger war, born out of an age of globalisation and the result of economic crisis and ethnic conflict. And, Ferguson argues, it's happening again,...
Published on 21 Sep 2008 by C. Ball

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61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Generic History
I've been very impressed by Ferguson's other works, in particular The Cash Nexus, Empire, and Colossus. War of the World, however, does not rise to the same standards as these earlier books. I found the argument to be laboured and unconvincing. Ferguson presents a lengthy tour through the history of the 20th century, throwing in remarks along the way suggesting that...
Published on 11 Oct 2006 by I. R. Bishop


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47 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but flawed, 3 Jun 2006
By 
Mr. P. E. Edwards "peteremrys" (Wimbledon) - See all my reviews
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This book covers a great deal of ground over 650 pages but could have been better written with some stronger editing. Its central thesis is exellently presented at the beginning of the book. I just wish that the author had stuck to his argument and cut out some of the padding. I know I am being over-critical because I would recommend buying the book. I guess that Niall Ferguson is a very good historian and I dont think that this book fully does him justice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars YOU CAN LEARN A LOT FROM THIS GUY, 5 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Paperback)
Very clear and interesting. I have read and listened to this scholar for some years. Sometimes he' s just a little bit too "Toryish".
But all in all, nobody is perfect.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh take on a century of mechanised carnage, 26 Jun 2007
By 
J. Grant (Scotland, Gourock) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Paperback)
A very interesting and fresh analysis covering a huge amount of historical evidence. The central arguments cover ethnic and religious intolerence, the collapse of empires and economic imperatives are all valid for me. It's also very readable and full of wry humour to offset some of the horrific detail. It's iconoclastic and provocative but that's what you want from a twenty first century history book, isn't it?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "must read", 28 Nov 2014
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Mr. Christopher Harris "Chris in Brum" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Paperback)
As always Ferguson challenges perceived wisdom and is endlessly stimulating. If you are interested in 20th century history then this is a "must read".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overlong egoistic retread of familiar territory with no new insight or originality, 26 April 2014
By 
Manzikert (Moselland, Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Paperback)
Can't disagree with IR Bishop's review of this I think he's spot on. I read this recently as I had never read a Ferguson book and after this don't think I will. The introduction makes bold statements, which are not backed up in the subsequent narrative, and I share the suspicion this was written primraily as a pretext to accompany a TV history of the 20th century, treading territory better covered in previous works, particularly Laurence Reees' works on the Nazis and the war in the East.

Ferguson's book lacks footnotes even when he makes direct quotes, a very strange omission in a book with scholarly pretensions, and there are some glaring factual and other errors - for which Mr Ferguson also has 'form' - and which indicate the book was written in a hurry and was the product of many hands. Most shockingly he repeats verbatim Basil Liddell-Hart's totally discredited claims to have been the founder of armoured warfare and blitzkrieg, even quoting from Guderian's book in which Guderian says LH was his main influence, a quote that was actually written and inserted by LH himself and only appears in the English edition! This has been known for decades, at least since Mearsheimer's groundbreaking work on Hart Liddell Hart and the Weight of History (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) and yet Ferguson seems entirely unaware of it and repeats the claims without qualification.

I suspect Ferguson wrote the intro and conclusion and left the narrative to his footsoldier team of researchers, while he jetted off to all corners of the globe to shoot the TV series for which he was, as always, paid handsomely. As others say, the narrative contains very little of the analysis that is promised in the intro which is the only part worth reading and reads like an essay that is then bolted on to a fairly journeyman narrative of the horrors of the 20th Century. To me this book undermines Ferguson's claim to be taken seriously as a scholarly historian.

Also as in some of his other works I have a strong suspicion Ferguson has simply lifted ideas from other writers and repackaged them as his own. I think in particular of Laurences Rees' two excellent works and the accompanying BBC series on the Nazis, and the Horror In The East which cover very similar ground to this book, but with greater insight and more concisely.

At best I could recommend this with serious reservations as an intro to 20th century but I think Rees' book among others and TV series would be a better start, and much shorter!

Btw: if anyone saw Ferguson shot to pieces recently on his own BBC episode about the First World War it's clear the guy has been sussed both by other historians and his audiences, at least in the UK.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Would that Mr F had been a history teacher., 2 Sep 2014
Mr F is brilliant. Clever carefully written book. This book deals thoughtfully with war and it surrounding issues and triggers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read-Took me ages but it was worth it, 31 Aug 2008
By 
Jack Shanahan (Castleisland, Co Kerry, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Paperback)
I found this book an exceptionally well explored history of conflict of the 21st century. It is easy to dismiss it as a TV tie-in, but that is to trivialise the detail and argument that are presented to the reader. Ferguson's thesis that racial conflict is a central aspect of some wars is well argued, but he is not precious about this. He recognises that this explanation is often too simplistic. He also quite rightly explores the rather obvious explanation that personalities are just as important. Conditions for war can be met but you still need a maggot to dig into the wound.
Will be happy to start reading the rest of Ferguson's works if they are as good as this one.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Ferguson's best, 16 Aug 2010
By 
Duncurin (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Paperback)
Not a bad holiday read. I found that the book did not start for me until the chapter on Saxe Coburgs and then it reminded me of a much better work from Massie - "Dreadnought" (and followed by a similarly excellent book "Castles of Steel"). As I got further into the book and the discussion moved to WW2 my comparison drew towards Roberts' "Storm of War" which I thought handled this period with more clarity. Also for me some of the analysis was a little blurred and at times he seemed to be arguing against himself. One point he makes that close relation marriage is not always as great a risk as has been made out but later in the book he discusses the Royal Family's "blue blood" and perhaps mercifully does not even touch upon Tay Sach's disease found in other close knit communities ! Some points I just cannot agree with; that the Flying Fortress was a better bomber than the Lancaster and I would also have liked him to mention that the most notable precision raids of WW2 were carried out by the RAF. Though I think "Empire" is his best work at no time did I regret buying this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read, 19 Jun 2010
By 
Mr. Stephen Parkin (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Paperback)
I can add little to other reviews except to agree that it is an excellent read.
The only material flaw is on p.486, when it is stated that Japan's demands from the as yet unconquered Dutch East Indies included 1 million tons of tin and 180,000 tons of nickel.The N.E.I produced some 32,000 tons of tin a year(World 167,000)
so clearly such an amount was impossible. N.E.I nickel production was zero(World 102,000-88% Canadian),again an impossible sum to supply.Also when discussing German reliance on imported Vanadium, states that South West Africa(now Namibia) was virtually the only source. It produced 30% of world output, Peru 28% and Northern Rhodesia(now Zambia)15%.
I assume some gremlins entered the word processor at some stage.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A pot-boiler for a tv series, 21 Aug 2014
By 
C. F. Boyle "Snodgrass" (Margam, South Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Paperback)
Another pot-boiler from Niall! A very curious selection of topics to illustrate his thesis. His treatment of the USSR is especially deficient. OK, so Stalin was worse than Hitler as an oppressor of his own people, he threw away millions of his troops in badly defending the country. And then... those pesky Russkies turn around and whup Hitler's hide! No explanation for this, the most significant turnaround of the XXth Century? (and don't peddle the myth that it was the supplies brought by ship)

And as befits the hagiographer of the Rothschilds, NF takes great pains to tell us almost every outrage committed against the Jews, but without explanation. Why did so many hate this small group so vehemently?
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The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred
The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred by Niall Ferguson (Paperback - 26 Mar 2009)
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