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The Great War Hardcover – 1979

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1979
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Peerage Books; 1st Edition.1st Printing edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0907408567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0907408567
  • ASIN: B000RAHDX0
  • Product Dimensions: 33 x 23.6 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,619,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From inside cover. The catastrophe that overtook Europe from 1914-1918 was a conflict so terrible, so gigantic, that men were to remember it, very simply, as 'The Great War'. Correlli Barnett traces the war from its origins in a Europe wracked with tension, through the years of bitterness, loss and destruction when a compromise peace proved impossible, to the war's bitter end in November 1918. Correlli Barnett is a distinguished military historian who was co-author of the award winning BBC television series, The Great War. In this gripping history he combines an exciting survey of the war with vivid descriptions of the individual's struggle for survival. He narrates the ordinary soldiers' battle experiences and their life in the trenches as well as the vital part played by civilians on the home front. The book is illustrated throughout with contemporary action photographs and maps.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book to supplement my English A2 level course which focuses on The Great War and as such, it is a fantastic book in introducing the topic.
Barnett's style of writing and the inclusion of illustrative aids such as detailed maps and photographs make his account extremely easy to follow and understand. Its greatest success is in its narrative simplicity, given the complexity and vast array of information needed to convey an accurate and thorough account of the War.
It also succeeds, where other reports (not just on World War One) fail, as it exhibits not only facts, figures and accounts, but also moving undertones which provide a basis for further exploration in the field. From a personal point of view, since my reading of this, The First World War has become my main topic of interest - now it just happens to be that I am studying it for my A level. From an academic reader's point of view, it obviously always helps to have an entusiasm for the area of study, and Barnett certainly captures such a reader's interest.
Two appendices are included which give a date-by-date chronology of The Great War and the number of casualties suffered by each country involved, paricularly helpful for quick reference.
It is, quite simply, a great account of The Great War. As Alex Danchev, editor of the war diaries of Lord Alanbrooke, reviewed, it is 'a miricle of elegant compression'.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has to cover the subject of WW I within the scope of 184 pages. Considering the fact that most books that have been written on isolated parts of this conflict already habitually use up more than twice this number of pages, the reader should not be surprised to get only a brief overview of the most relevant facts and figures of the war. Names of (some) politicians and generals do of course crop up through the book, but without more background than a brief mention that they were cautious, steadfast or fiery by nature.

For a book that has to cover so much information is so little space, it isn't at all badly written. But do not expect any real background, insight or telling anecdote.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great illustrations, shame about a bit of poor proofreading, armistice signed 11Nov 1919? Oops
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9666fc54) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x963adbe8) out of 5 stars Well written, easy to read introduction (or overview) of the history of WWI 17 Dec. 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
In light of the great heavy tomes that have been written on just single years, battles or personalities of World War I, it is amazing that the entire conflict can be summarized in a few hundred photo-heavy pages. But that is exactly what Corelli Barnett has done in this volume. The book manages to do this without leaving out anything of significance, though some sections may leave you gasping for detail. Or, you may find yourself wondering what all those other great tomes actually contain.

For example, I have read two single volume histories of the Battle of Jutland. Barnett here covers it in just 4 pages...but going over it, it is hard to say he has not related the tale. He describes the strategic situation, how the Germans technically capable but small fleet was bottled up in the North Sea and the consequences of the blockade. He describes Scheer's strategy to draw out and destroy the British fleet in small parts, how it seemed to be working when Hipper's battlecruiseres staged a running duel with Beatty's squadron that brought them into range of Scheer's main task force, and then the continuation as the German's pursued Beatty back to the main British fleet. And so on...all the manuevers are covered, as are the strategic consequences. So what are you missing by reading Barnett's short account? You miss the history of the two fleet's developement's, the personalities of their creators (Fisher and Tirpitz), and their commanders (cautious Jellicoe, flamboyant Beatty, etc.) In the end, you may not care if you miss the tiny details of each ship and squadron, the exact tracks of the squadrons or the damage reports, unless you are a real naval history junkie.

And so goes the whole book. It makes marvelous quick reading to introduce one to the subject or to remind yourself how the pieces fit together. It would probably be a great first history for a precocious child as well. I'm glad I have it on my bookcase as a quick reference to the overall sequence of the war...almost an index. So the book is highly recommended, if you do not expect a definitive, in-depth history. 4.5 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x963ade1c) out of 5 stars Great Book! 27 July 2004
By C. Cooper - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a great one volume overview of WWI. I couldn't hardly put it down once I started reading it. If you're looking for one good book about the war for your collection, I suggest this one.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x964078f4) out of 5 stars Very Good! 9 Jun. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a good overview of the First World War, including information on the various theaters. John Terraine writes beautifully, and includes interesting evaluations on events and leaders. He also describes the nature of the war from the common soldiers' points of view. Very noteworthy are the many fascinating pictures, many of which do not appear to have been published in many other books. A good complement to this history is the more recent First World War by John Keegan.
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