A Short History of the First World War Paperback – 4 Sep 2014
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'Well written and persuasive …objective and well-rounded... This scholarly rehabilitation should be the standard biography of Haig.'(Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday on The Chief)
'Solid scholarship and admirable advocacy.'(Sunday Telegraph on The Chief)
'[An]iconoclastic tour de force.'(Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph on Forgotten Victory)
'Outstanding'(Sir Michael Howard on Forgotten Victory)
‘Gary Sheffield is one of Britain's foremost historians of the First World War – insightful, original and superbly informed.’(Max Hastings)
‘In a book all the more impressive for its brevity, Gary Sheffield covers a remarkable amount of ground, from the war's causes to its consequences.’(Michael Neiberg, Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi)
‘One of Britain’s foremost historians of the Great War offers here a clear and concise account of the great catastrophe of the 20th Century. Drawing on an enormous knowledge of secondary literature combined with many years of immersion in the archives, the result is a masterful mix of narrative and analysis that will prove both provocative and stimulating.’(Jeffrey Grey, Professor of History, UNSW Canberra)
‘Professor Gary Sheffield, one of the leading figures in the field, turns his considerable talent to providing the most up-to-date view of this most controversial of conflicts. The result is history at its very best; masterfully written, engaging, and thought provoking.’(Andrew Wiest, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society, University of Southe)
‘A compelling and original account that should become a set text for anyone wanting to understand the events of 1914-18.’(James Holland, bestselling author of The Battle of Britain and Dam Busters)
‘An excellent introduction to this vast subject which will be accessible to those beginning to study the conflict as well as a stimulating read for more experienced scholars.’(Brian Bond, Emeritus Professor of Military History, Kings College, London)
‘The best short history of World War One that is currently available’(Jeremy Black, Professor of History, University of Exeter)
About the Author
Gary Sheffield is Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. He is President of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and a Vice President of the Western Front Association. He has published widely on the First World War and regularly broadcasts on television and radio as well as contributing to numerous journals, magazines and newspapers. Previous books include the acclaimed Forgotten Victory and The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army, which was shorlisted for the presigious Duke of Westminster's Medal.
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Top Customer Reviews
As Gary Sheffield, the author of many excellent books on the Great War, including a recent on on Haig, reminds us that the war was a series of events that destroyed four Empires, led to the 1917 Russian Revolution, and was a major factor in the rise of fascism. It set free many nationalities that then formed new states such as Yugoslavia. No less than eleven republics featured on the post 1918 map. The redistribution of former German colonies affected the map of Africa, East Asia, and the Pacific. The boundaries of the Middle East and in Palestine were redrawn, giving rise to many of todays problems in that region. The war also saw a dramatic reduction in Europe's world stature.
The war also led to the rise of the USA as a world power, and, among other things, Women's emancipation in many countries was given a boost. It killed many millions and left thousands crippled for life. The war was fought in almost every part of the globe, not as sometimes is implied only on the Western Front.
Sheffield admits that the debate over whether or not the war was futile continues unabated. Whether we should have got involved remains controversial. Haig and Petain remain highly controversial figures. He reminds us that opponents often argue their case with venom and demonstrate an intense dislike of having their preconceptions challenged even when these are based on 'emotion, limited knowledge and flawed understanding'.Read more ›
Professor Sheffield is an acknowledged expert on the conflict with several books already published that detail the conclusions that he has come to. In this book he presents the gist of the debates and the conclusions that he has come to and they are reasoned and reasonable conclusions. Our understanding of the conflict has become based upon a myth which is celebrated and reinforced every November. The core of this myth is class based, that the politicians who led us into the war were incompetent, that the generals were incompetent in the face of technologies that had existed for twenty years before the conflict and towards innovations during the war, that they willingly acquiesced in the massacre of a generation. To a large extent this view was manufactured after the war by left wingers who found it politically convenient to blame the upper classes for the carnage. ( though I am not sure that the author would express it quite lije that). The author is at pains to point out that he is not a right wing historian, merely seeking to discover truth .
On the causes of the war he determines that Germany bears the blame because its consistently aggressive policies created a coalition against it and, once a casus belli had been established the German government refused to rein in the Austrians and took an action in invading Belgium that would inevitably bring Britain in.Read more ›
borne breakthroughs. His account of the development of technology is useful. He solves the problem in a supposed short book by using inserted factual panels providing contextual background or answering key questions. These inserted panels are similar to those used in Europe by Norman Davies and do much to help provide detail. Sheffield completes the book with sections on total war and the botched aftermath of Versailles, even discussing whether Versailles was instrumental in causing World War Two. This is an excellent book in its own right whether used as a primer or as a great introduction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sheffield's book is the best short history of WW1 (as of February 2016). At under 200pp of text, this beats all contenders in English for a brief overview of the main causes,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Brisbane reader
short on narrative with no detail or overview, weirdly bad book, worst military history I've ever readPublished 11 months ago by Mr. R. Haynes
Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies at Wolverhampton University, is currently amongst the two or three leading authorities on the First World War. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Willyum R
A whipcrack fast account of all areas of the war from noted war myth buster Gary Sheffield. Includes musings on wider issues like industry, politics and moral accountability. Read morePublished 19 months ago by G. P. Watson
A terrific book for anyone who wants a balanced view of why and how the Great War was fought. Sheffield is a revisionist WW1 historian (and a very good writer). Read morePublished 20 months ago by N. Turner