- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Profile Books; Main edition (6 Feb. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846682479
- ISBN-13: 978-1846682476
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Great War: 1914-1918 Paperback – 6 Feb 2014
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Immensely readable ... Hart excels not only at making it intelligible but also at turning it into a gripping narrative, which includes extensive and moving quotations from soldiers and sailors who bore the consequences of their commanders' decisions and faced the realities of combat ... Hart's book will contribute to a sea change in our understanding of the war during the years of the centenary (Irish Times)
Gripping ... I would highly recommend this book, not only for the honest appraisal of all the main characters and countries involved, but because it gives a voice to those who paid the ultimate price, often for no purpose whatsoever (Morning Star)
A valuable, timely and highly readable overview of the Great War on all major fronts (Professor Peter Simkins)
Thought provoking, erudite, yet eminently readable and entertaining: Peter Hart is a historian and author at the peak of his powers (Richard Van Emden)
Riveting...bold enough to bring a new clarity to a subject that has been obscured by a creeping barrage of re-interpretations over the years (Catholic Herald)
Very impressive (Military History Magazine)
The sheer level of detail Hart presents is astonishing...fascinating (Press Association)
A refreshing and engaging read (Soldier Magazine)
Gripping...I would highly recommend this book, not only for the honest appraisal of all the main characters and countries involved, but because it gives a voice to those who paid the ultimate price, often for no purpose whatsoever (Morning Star)
A masterful history of the First World War, covering all areas and explaining the technology and tactics that determined its course: now in paperback for the centenarySee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Peter Hart's "The Great War: 1914-1918", published by Profile Books in April 2013 is the latest entry to the field and comes at a particularly timely moment.
Hart is well known not only through the numerous books he has already written on the conflict but also in his role as Oral Historian of the Imperial War Museum - and it is this latter experience that enables him to add a level of personal connection with the combatants through their reminiscences and thereby bring a new perspective to global events.
While the actual sequence of events that lead to war are still the subject of debate, the case is clear in this book for the inevitability of war in August 1914 after decades of inconclusive conflicts and unresolved geopolitical ambitions. With none of the participants prepared to accept a reduction in their national "economic, political, military and imperial ambitions", the slide towards war was unavoidable.Read more ›
It is good to see (and given Hart's previous work, perhaps unsurprising) that the war beyond the Western Front receives fine coverage. The military operations in the key theatres of war are explained, for as the author says you cannot understand the Western Front without understanding the Eastern, and so on, although almost inevitably it is France and Flanders which receives most attention. Gallipoli, Salonika, Palestine, the 'white war' in Italy and the war at sea all come into scope and it is really only the fighting in Africa which is an engagement of any scale that is absent.
The writing is fluent and clear, and not academic in style although the research is clearly thorough and based on a wide range of sources.Read more ›
But, if anything, in this work I detect an even stronger and increasingly confident narrative theme to his description of events. As "the master of popular history" (an oddly pejorative term in the hands of some), the author brings together the voices of senior commanders and political leaders through to the ordinary private soldier to give an overview of events throughout the course of the war.
What no-one will be left in any doubt about is that `popular' (that word again) versions of how the Great War was conducted are often completely wrong-headed. The significance of side-shows in romantic locations is often exaggerated but accompanied by a disastrous underestimation of Allied opponents, particularly of the Ottoman Turks, that made them feasible in the minds of ill-informed opportunist politicians in the first place.
Ironically, as irrelevant to final victory over Imperial Germany defeating the likes of Bulgaria truly was, these campaigns are rarely described as futile - the very word that defines many perceptions of where the war was truly fought, won and lost: on the Western Front. And no-one reading this work be left in any doubt about that.
The evolution of strategy and tactics is outlined clearly and succinctly; indeed, rarely can a work approaching 500 pages have been as fast-paced as this excellent work. It remains, though, a human document and the cost of war is never lost on the reader.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Always enjoy Peter Hart's books and this is no exception. In his usual format, very readable and enlightening history illustrated by the words of those who were there (on both... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Phil Wood
Fascinating look at an older conflict that can be largely forgotten but this volume highlights the terrible suffering on both sides of this awful conflict; riveting read, very... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
This a wonderful history of the war, brimming with insights rooted in the words and reports of those who took part, both on the frontline and as senior commanders. Read morePublished 19 months ago by M Tomlinson
Very sad to read about the vast number of lives lost. Well written.Published on 17 Dec. 2014 by LGW Bailey
Useful and somewhat sobering to have the British effort contextualised by Mr Hart. A necessary process in understanding to be able to place the more readable personal accounts in... Read morePublished on 26 Oct. 2014 by steve hatch