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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an accidental war...
If you think that the European powers stumbled into the Great War by accident; that the generals were numbskulls who learned nothing from the slaughter on the Somme or at Verdun; or that the sudden collapse of Germany in 1918 owed little to British and French efforts, then read this book and think again.

This is a superb history of World War One, clearly...
Published on 4 Jan. 2009 by I. S. Barker

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars like a 1914 artillery shoot this book sometimes misses it's mark
The author approaches his theme by using a succession of different themes rather than a linear narrative. This leads to a lot of duplication in the text which gets a bit dull as you plough through the book. You tend to get the same facts repeated in each section without ever expanding on the information given. The curious result of this is a book that manages to be both...
Published on 28 Sept. 2012 by Amazon Customer


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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not very accesible, 3 Oct. 2007
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I am an avid reader of military history books. I am afraid I found this book too much like a text book and less like the accessible (but not necessarily dumbed down) history books by the likes of Max Hastings and Antong Beevor. I also didn't like the structure, with chapters analysing different themes, rather than a chronolgical history as the title would suggest. The commentary was in depth and cannot be faulted, I just felt there was too little to make this book accessible to the average reader (as oppossed to a history student), by way of example we have very little in the way of the case studies on individual experiences and specific events which are prevalent in other historical books and I feel help build up a personal understanding of what it was like to be a part of such war.
In summary: not recomended for general consumption or as a history of the war, but a capable and well researched resourse tool for the academic
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is great for anyone studying the WW1, 26 Sept. 2014
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This is great for anyone studying the WW1, it begins in Sarayevo but is mostly about the political side of the war, not about the military side.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For A level history, 15 Dec. 2013
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Really pleased with this book. Purchased for my daughter to help with A levels. Great buy and will be very helpful with her history assignments
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5.0 out of 5 stars WW1 Research, 12 July 2013
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Excellent & concise account of WW1. well written & a great research tool that has helped in my assembly of a talk for next year
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5.0 out of 5 stars Most intersting read, 22 Sept. 2014
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I haven't finished reading it yet but so far it has been most informative. Provides a clear insight into WW1.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased with the choice, 27 Sept. 2014
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Wanted a bok that could cover this subject.
Very pleased with the choice, and a good read.
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25 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I should have enjoyed this book, but I didn't, 16 Jun. 2011
When I first bought this book I expected to enjoy reading it:
I prefer to read factual books rather than fiction. I particularly like books about important historical events, and WW1 was certainly an important event.
I dislike modern history writers' preference to concentrate on the personal side of things, or the view of the world event from some ordinary person. And this book thankfully does not have one single reference to any letter from a low ranking soldier to his girl back home, or any reminisces about past times from some now-elderly industrial worker.
Finally I like to read about all the aspects of a war's history; how it began, how it continued, and what was the aftermath. I like to hear the economic, technological, and political aspects, in addition to just the military campaigning. Yet again this book seems to fulfil all these requirements.
So this book should have been perfect for me. But it wasn't.

The book starts very promisingly, with a good chapter on how the war began. But after that it lurches around the timeline in some attempt to discuss various different points under several collective subsections.
Repeated references are made to different battles, treaties, memorandums and character's actions. Sometimes these events have been vaguely referenced earlier in the book, sometimes they will be touched upon later. Or sometimes it is assumed that the reader already knows everything about such 'well known' events as the Balfour Declaration, or the Chantilly agreements, and no further description is necessary?
But unless you want to use the asterisks with chapter references at the bottom of many pages to jump about the chapters almost as much as the author has jumped around WW1, then you will need to have a very good memory.

After struggling through this rambling narrative, and even stooping as low as skipping forward several pages in the middle, I am at last nearing the end of my literary ordeal. Only a couple more chapters...
And I'm starting to realise exactly why this book doesn't impress me: it's that it doesn't actually cover the war! It actually goes too far into the economic and political areas, while seeming to assume that the reader already knows all about the war. But even then it's not much use, as the author also thinks the reader also already knows a good bit about the economic / political aspects too.

So if you are a student of history who maybe wants to particularly specialise in WW1, then this book will be for you.
Alternately, if the last 3 books you read were all on WW1 and you have a fairly complete recall of all 3 books, then you will also find that this book will be a useful augment to your already substantial knowledge of the subject.
But if you just randomly bought the book because it looked like a good way to get a general history of the events surrounding WW1, then you will probably be left unfulfilled, confused, and disappointed like me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Aug. 2014
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i just like all world war one books
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 July 2014
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An excellent book - well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Aug. 2014
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Easy to read detailed history
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