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The First World War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 25 Jan 2007
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Review from previous editionReview from previous edition succinct, comprehensive and beautifully written. Indeed reading it is an experience comparable to scanning the clues of a well-composed crossword puzzle. Every allusion is eventually supplied with an answer, and the finished product defies the puzzler's disbelief that the intricacies can be brought to a convincing conclusion. . . . Michael Howard is the master of the short book (TLS)
Howard expertly and succintly summarizes the Great War for the layperson... volume is an excellent way to get a grounding in this momentous subject (Forbes Global 21/03/03)
an enlightened idea to produce a very short account of the great war - a page per month - . . . . But if, in 2014, bright schoolchildren, their brains putified by GCSE, get around to asking what the first world war was about, Howard's book will be very valuable. (The Times, Culture)
Professor Sir Michael Howard, . . ., is our best living military historian, and perhaps also strategic thinker. His new work is a masterly introduction to the Great War, desgined for those with no previous knowldge of the subject. . . . Any new student who reads Michael Howard should go on to address the first volume of Hew Strachan's huge new work on the same theme. There is great wisdom in both books, and wisdom on this subject is in short supply. (Sunday Telegraph)
About the Author
Sir Michael Howard CH is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at both Oxford and Yale Universities. His many books include The Causes of Wars, War in European History, The Lessons of History, The Invention of Peace, The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century (edited with W. R. Louis), War and the Liberal Conscience, The Franco-Prussian War (Duff Cooper Memorial Prize) and Grand Strategy, vol. iv in The UK Official History of the Second World War.
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Top Customer Reviews
I strongly recommend it. I wonder if he could do the same with WW2? Or has he?
After reading the book I felt not only that it had given me a better grasp of the chronology and general outline of the war, but also answers to some of the key questions.
Why, despite the fact that only 10 years earlier war with France (again) seemed the likelier, conflict with Germany was eventually unavoidable given the clumsy diplomacy of Bismark's successors.
Why the morale of the German army and of the home front crumbled despite the vast (yet brief) empire in the east gained by the defeat of Russia.
And why, because of French and (suprisingly) American insistance upon a harsh peace, the rise of Hitler was inevitable and the carnage repeated on a still grander scale, ony 20 years later.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a succinct synthesis of the incredibly complex historical phenomenon that was the First World War. Read morePublished 13 months ago by RPG
I've read a few of these Very Short Introductions now and have found that while they provide quite a bit of information on what happened they are a bit light on the "why"... Read morePublished on 11 April 2015 by Amazon Customer
Along with the Osprey series for Kindle, these Very Short Introductions offer an excellent way for the general reader or student to gain an overview of the topic in question -... Read morePublished on 7 April 2015 by Chuck E
I found this an excellent overview of the First World War. Very readable and well edited, I was impressed with the amount of detail such a slim volume could hold. Read morePublished on 4 April 2015 by J. Clinch
This is a short and concise introduction to the First World War, as we have come to expect from these VSI books. Read morePublished on 26 Mar. 2015 by Spider Monkey
The turn of the twentieth century seems to have bben a complicated period with emergent tensions from new sources and increasing tensions between the usual suspects. Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2015 by Gentoo
If you want a brief breakdown of World War 1, then this is ideal. At just over 120 pages it is certainly not an "executive summary". Read morePublished on 20 Mar. 2015 by Ross Boardman