16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A highly informative and, at times, moving account of WW1, 31 Dec. 2003
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'.