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The Pity of War
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on 6 June 2013
This was recommended (with a disclaimer that it was highly controversial) by my tour guide for the French World War One battlefields. The man was quirky himself, to say the least, so I wanted to check this book out. It didn't disappoint. Ferguson, with varying effectiveness in my view, takes apart virtually everything 'everybody knows about WW1'. Some of it is highly beleiveable, some of it is dubious, all of it is interesting. Only disclaimer I would add is don't just read this, or your view of the war will be - well, oddly slanted, to put it one way. Nevertheless, thoroughly recommended.
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on 19 June 2015
I like Ferguson's books and this keeps up his high standard. This is a much- needed examination of the war from angles that are often neglected and I found most of his points to be convincing. There are passages that are heavy going and focussed on economic detail that seems more for the specialist reader, but this is well- worth a read for its insights into a conflict that looms large in the public imagination.
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on 15 March 2017
excellent
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on 9 May 2016
I love Niall Ferguson's books - he's a great writer - but this one is a bit dry. He just keeps listing sources that support his point. You feel like you're being bludgeoned rather than reading a well-reasoned argument.
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on 28 August 2016
A fascinating ,well argued and thought provoking view of the Great War. Perversely perhaps I enjoyed the 'what if' section towards the end - the basis of a good discussion
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on 29 July 2016
Great Writing, with interesting conclusions not reached elsewhere.
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on 10 February 2017
Beautifully written book which gave the history in excellent detail.
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on 9 March 2015
Extremely informative and a well written book. The enormous amounts of facts that Niall Ferguson throws at us are understandable because of his very approachable style.. Great book and I learned a lot
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on 6 October 2014
Bit of a text book with the amount of data but an interesting analysis none the less.
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on 9 May 2007
The Pity of War seems like a good idea,an attempt to re-evaluate the First World War and challenge some of the pre-conceived ideas and assumptions we have about the conflict. However, it is let down by a problematic structure, which doesn't make it very readable, and the fact that the author's arguments do not seem fully developed, but, nevertheless, all seem to point towards an already determined conclusion.
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