1913: The World before the Great War Paperback – 6 Feb 2014
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"Every so often a book comes along that simply must be read. 1913 is such a work. Luminous and majestic, rich in detail and stunning in its depth of research, 1913 is a sweeping and haunting portrait of the world on the edge of the precipice… Read this book, but be prepared to stifle at the end of every page an urge to scream out a warning to those long since dead that they must take another road" (Wade Davis)
"Charles Emmerson explores an endlessly interesting question: How did the great glossy world of the European Empires come to grief in 1914? This is a most elegantly written book and should stand comparison with the much older classic, Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower" (PROFESSOR NORMAN STONE, author of World War One: A Short History)
"A masterful, comprehensive portrait of the world at that last moment in its history…" (David Crane Spectator)
"If Downton Abbey still colours your impression of what Britain was like on the cusp of the First World War, 1913 could be a useful corrective" (David Robinson Scotsman)
"One of the great merits of Charles Emmerson’s global panorama is to show events in the months leading up to the summer of 1914 as something other than a precursor to mass slaughter" (Mark Damazer New Statesman)
A portrait of a world on the precipice of war – and the brink of globalisation.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Well yes, and the newness here is in the approach taken: not a broad canvas but rather a collection of almost two dozen linked sketches. What the author does is tell us about key capital and major cities throughout the world, what they were like in 1913, the lives and hopes of the people living in them, the nature and activities of those governing them, where they seemed to fit into the order of things. And he does it very well. The research has been thorough and the information is there and in some detail, but it never threatens to overpower the reader or to make things dull. The style is very readable and there is a lightness of touch and an ability to take you to a place and immerse you in it. We get enough by way of regional overview and linking themes to stop the collection feeling disjointed but the cities are the main characters.
The combination of novel approach and readability make this a great read and also a very informative one. I certainly recommend it.
Divided into four parts and covering twenty-three of the world's major cities this fascinating book takes its reader on a whirlwind tour of the globe in 1913. Starting and finishing in London and crossing five continents in between, Emmerson uses contemporary sources [including newspaper reports, diaries, memoirs and extracts from Baedeker guides] to paint a vivid portrait of a world on the cusp of enormous change. While Europe still dominated much of the world in 1913 and monarchical and aristocratic government prevailed across most of the continent, the forces of change were on the march.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Many books have been written on the golden age before the First World War, and many others on the root causes of the war. But this is neither of these. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Steve_Morris
I enjoyed this book, it told the story of the World's problems and concerns and events that caused the great war and all the treaties that linked the countries together, I found it... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Douglas P Hester
An informative and well researched book on world capitols just prior to WW1 and begs the question, why did Europe have to self destruct when the future looked bright and hopeful.Published 9 months ago by Fury Man
I'm afraid I could not get into this book. It clearly does not claim to tell the story of the reasons the world went to war, but to show how the world was before the war. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Simon Binning
Still chugging through this fabulous tome! Quite hard work in some ways but a compact and fantastic history of the time. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Chatty Kathy
A thoughtful, well written, and informative work. One gets an impression of the world of 1913, the cultural perspective, the political outlook, and the differing national... Read morePublished 17 months ago by K.P.O'B.
If you want to read and understand why the Great War came about,you could do a lot worse than read this book. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mark Romvari
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