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World War One A Brief History
on 18 November 2012
The best thing that can be said of Norman Stone's history of World War One is that it is very short. It covers the causes of the war and each year of the war in one chapter each. When you compare this to other one volume histories of the Great War with their tiny ant like print this is a definite advantage.
Unfortunately though rather than doing his best to just summarise the events that took place Norman Stone still tries to put forward his views and his interpretations of these events. The result reads like a series of history essays arguing a particular individuals point of view.
This is not helped by Norman Stones writing style which I have seen criticised in other reviews. He tends to let sentences ramble on until they become somewhat muddled. I found myself often having to reread some sentences, trying to break them down into the component parts. Thankfully as this is a short book I was willing to persevere but I would be reluctant to buy anything longer written by the same author.
Despite its short length I would not reccomend this book to anyone new to the subject of World War One due to the points I've mentioned. However, if you are already familiar with the subject it does provide some interesting arguements and a useful refresher of the major events of the war. I'm still waiting for a really good one volume history of the Great War to be written.