Customer Reviews


41 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking if a bit suspect in detail
I read this interesting and thought-provoking book when it was first published, and revisited it last weekend when I needed to look up some data. It's spoiled a bit for me by his chapter on tactics and the body count, where a lot of his writing strikes me as suspect in detail.

He lists as "Excuses" for high Allied casualties the fact that the Germans were...
Published on 11 July 2011 by MR. PAUL J. BARTON

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting evaluation but not his best work
The Pity of War seems like a good idea, re-evaluating the First World War and challenging the pre-conceived ideas. However, it is let down by a problematic structure which doesn't make it very readable and the fact that his arguments do not seem fully developed and all seem to point towards an already decided conclusion.
Published on 9 May 2007 by HBH


Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another Academic Wonderland, 7 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pity of War (Hardcover)
To make a reputation in the world, one has to come up with new ideas. Sometimes they are closer to Hitler's BIG LIE than anything else.
While there is much interesting in the book, he fails to convince. After all, the Germans still invaded a neutral country. This area was also one that England had fought for before. I could go on but one more point must be presented.
Perhaps it was destiny that Germany become the dominant nation of Europe and the First World War only delayed the results. But the liberal, democratic society of today is better than the aggressive, insecure German nation that existed in 1914.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a sane view of an insane war, 28 Jun 2013
By 
Mrs. P. Czyzak-dannenbaum "Peggy" (London, Miami and roving) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pity of War (Kindle Edition)
While slightly academic in style, this is nonetheless a compelling, clear and logical analysis of the events leading up to the First World War and the very horrible mistakes that were made on all sides. It is a must read for anyone who wants to understand how very bad events are the results of often very small, stupid mistakes. And if you think this could not happen again, compare the rise of China and the skirmishes over some of the off shore islands and ask yourselves how like Sarajevo this could be.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 7 May 2013
This review is from: The Pity of War (Paperback)
A wonderful read, detailed when necessary and the author's extensive knowledge and research offer a unique insight. A must read for anyone interested in World War One.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pity of War, 5 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pity of War (Paperback)
Brilliantly considered revision of WW1. Made me think about everything I previously had thought about the Great War and had been taught in school.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reconsideration of The Great War., 1 July 1999
By A Customer
So many of the truths we have taken for granted are put asunder. Ferguson twists our minds in a way that has us begging for more. Nothing is sacrosanct, and everything is intelligently presented. This book is the sort of historical page-turner that makes learning so much fun!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 90's Book, Not Updated for 2014, 18 April 2014
By 
Rob "Rob" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pity of War (Paperback)
I had expected this would be a new book from the TV show. Turns out to be a 90's book, not even in a new edition. I like Niall's writing and ideas, but this was a bit disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific defense of the Reich, beating back the British Hun, 30 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pity of War (Hardcover)
There were no real "good guys" or "bad guys" in the Great War, but more than any other country, Germany is demonized for its role in starting the war, and among far too many uneducated American "patriots" is the notion that Britain and France heroically "beat back the HUN," some megalomaniacal beast that had consumed much of Europe and sought world domination. At least, in the past several years, many people have recognized that the Germans were in no way the monsters that they were initially made out to be, yet the Kaiser and the German war effort continue to be classified as destructive forces. This book is an excellently written revision of these misguided notions, and one the demands the attentions of any serious student of the great war.
I submit that, rather than Germany being the nightmarish state that it would later become in 1933, Germany was a nation plagued by the greatst conceivable historical calamities, and, once it had finally become a world power in 1870, sought merely (at least at first) to take an equal role with its European neighbors in wolrd governance, to find its place in the sun. Furthermore, Germany was by no means the most aggressively imperialistic nation of Europe, and did not proceed to annex what was left of the uncolonized third world to the extent that Britain and France did in the 1890s. So who can we point to as the true agressors in the Great War. Surely, it must be Britain. While many believe that Germany severed its friendship with Britain by building a grand navy, the truth is that Britains navy was far larger and more powerful than the German navy, and the British Empire always remained many times larger than the German Empire. Realistically, the British had nothing to fear from German naval ambitions. And when it became clear to the German High Command that war with both France and Russia was inevitable, Germany acitvely sought some sort of agreement with Britain. To be sure, this was masked by one German show of force after another, but what Germany wanted and needed more than anything else was the friendship of the British. The potential benefits of a German-British Alliance are too numerous to recount here, but suffice it to say that such an alliance would surely have brought enough glory and power to the British Empire to sustain for several centuries, to say nothing of the benefits for Germany. Yet Britain chose the ruinous path of strife with Germany, and although the British eventually succeeded in destroying the Reich (and thereby destroying the strongest land power on earth, a perfect counterbalace for British naval supremacy), the result of the Great War was the effective end of European imperialism and global domination. Furthemore, the bitterness of the post war years resulting from the Versailles peace brought about WWII, and the de facto end of the British Empire. Thus, Britain fought the Great War on the side of anti-imperialist forces, including British imperialism. If it can be any consolation to the Germans whose Empire was shattered and for whom the Great War was an unfathomable and undigestible loss, at least the British betrayal ruined "Britannia" as well as the Fatherland.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Pity of Niall Ferguson, 12 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Pity of War (Paperback)
Having studied the period both at school and university, I knew some of the background well. This is a deliberately controversial history and many of its arguments are not sustained by the evidence he uses (much of it from secondary sources anyway.) It reads like an undergraduate attempt to be clever and revisionist but it flops. And the attempt to provide a counter-factual account of Germany dominating Europe in a proto-EU- is rubbish on some many levels, I don't know where to start.

There are serious scholars out there who are worth reading- Zara Steiner, Norman Stone, Huw Strachan.... Avoid Ferguson.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Load of Tosh, 26 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Pity of War (Paperback)
Written by an economist rather than an historian....what a complete load of tosh. Read virtually anything else on the subject.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good provocative history but a doubtful central premise, 8 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pity of War (Hardcover)
Covers lots of ground. Generally reliable EXCEPT--and a big EXCEPT--for his central assertion that the Britain blundered wrongly into war. Given the 18th and 19th century Britishdetermination to prevent the continent being dominated by a single power, how Ferguson could conceive of a Britain accepting German dominance over Europe in 1914 is inconceivable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Pity of War
The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson
£5.03
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews