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The First World War Paperback – 2 May 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2 May 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; New edition edition (2 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074323961X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743239615
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 616,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


This serious, compact survey of the war s history stands out as the most well- informed, accessible work available. ("Los Angeles Times") What Strachan offers is history as only the professionals can do it, and rarely enough even then. (Adam Gopnik, "The New Yorker") Likely to be the most indispensable one-volume work on the subject since John Keegan s First World War. ("Publishers Weekly") A brilliant feat. (John Keegan) Quite simply the best short history of the war in print. (Dennis Showalter)

From the Inside Flap

The popular view of the First World War is dominated by cliché. Young British soldiers, many of them budding poets, were led to early and ghastly deaths in muddy wastes by incompetent generals for reasons that were seemingly futile. And although clichés are not necessarily lies, they are at best a selective view of the truth.

Building on his ongoing research for his mammoth three-volume history of the war, Hew Strachan now presents a stunning new account of the hostilities which offers many new interpretations of and insights into one of the defining events of the twentieth century. This one-volume history is not just a riveting digest for the general reader of his other writing, it also provides the narrative structure and direction of the accompanying ten-part Channel 4 series. And, for the first time, it offers a truly global vision of a conflict which is often misconceived as a prolonged skirmish on the Western Front.

Strachan argues convincingly that the war had become a 'world war' long before the involvement of the United States and the Russian Revolution of 1917. Far from being a 'European civil war', the conflict involved the colonial territories of European powers, and touched areas as far-flung as the Balkans, Africa and the Ottoman Empire. And it was the existence of these territories that helped explain why the war did not seem futile at the time: for Britain and France, it quickly became a struggle for the defence of liberalism.

Accessible, compelling and utterly convincing, and featuring a wealth of photographs many of which have never previously been published, this is modern history writing at its finest. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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