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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
34
The World Crisis 1911-1918 (Penguin Classics)
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on 3 September 2017
What do you expect but fantastic. I have a world of books on the Great War and this is one of the top.
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on 24 August 2017
Good background and interesting information, well-written and clearly expressed.
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on 12 December 2016
You have to admit it , but the old codger writes wonderfully, and of course I could find no real evidence to blame him for the Gallipoli fiasco.
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on 27 April 2017
Excellent.
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on 22 June 2010
This is an abbreviated version of a multi-volume work. The book dealing with the east european theatres of war has been dropped. We are left with the core work, and the result is very readable. Highly recommended.
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on 28 September 2011
The abridged, one-volume, small-print, paperback condensation is in my opinion a net loss over the original 1920s memoirs. The maps and charts are less informative, for one thing.
As 1st Lord of the Admiralty, a (temporary) officer at a Western Front battalion HQ, then Minister of Munitions, Churchill's account is a must. He was there, he made key decisions and then took the blame for them, he was closely involved with Fisher, Lloyd George, Geddes and the rest. We get his opinions and personality coming through as well as well-chosen and well-presented facts and figures. Above all he is a good read: you don't always realise this till you try flatter, more detached, and less colourful accounts such as Marder's.
The Penguin Classic gives us about two-thirds of this, but I prefer the originals, even if they take up more shelf space.
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on 23 February 2015
Churchill is worth reading for the quality of prose alone. Here, similar to his WW2 memoirs, we have an account of the war told by a brilliant and original mind who was in close contact with many of the key decisions. Of course Churchill presents his own views and as such is not the most impartial chronicler, but he always presents facts and strong arguments to support his case. Above all though it is the style of the book that makes it such a worthwhile read, with dull subjects rendered fascinating and passages of action being told in such a way as to conjure up genuine excitement and suspense in the reader's mind.
"If only the Generals had not been content to fight machine-gun bullets with the breasts of gallant men, and think that this was waging war."
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VINE VOICEon 9 May 2010
If only all history books were written by Churchill. This is great writing with a strong focus on naval matters, which I had not expected. Also not previously clear to me that this is not the complete work. The Martin Gilbert introduction is not particularly useful. Worth it for the writing alone - compulsive and entertaining.
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on 9 November 2008
There are two different expectations from history books: a stand-back dispassionate analysis from an academic, or a personal account from someone deeply involved. This is the latter. Yes, it is subjective and self justifying. On the other hand it is passionate and personal. The book is as interesting for the light it sheds on its author, as for the analysis of the events. But even on this second aspect it is outstanding. No other account I know of gives such an insight into the roles of the peripheral players in this epoch-changing conflict. Churchill shows the sweep of his understanding of the history and aspirations of the smaller yet crucial countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the importance of the Ottomans. Not simply a catalogue of campaigns and casualties; this is the only book on this subject that has given me a real perspective on the ebb and swell of the various phases of this awful struggle.
He, naturally, spends much effort to defend the wisdom of the idea behind the Dardanelles campaign, while denouncing its excecution. The failure of this campaign cost Churchill his job and his reputation; a blow from which a lesser man would never have recovered.
The book is scholarly without being dry. The language is stirring and moving yet avoids obvious clichés. An obligatory read for anyone interested in the war which gave us the Europe we know today.
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on 13 December 2013
I listened to the unabridged audiobook on long commutes. After 5 hours driving and listening I would park up on my drive and continue listening. Delving into the mind of a great man of our own culture of this time was rewarding and fascinating. His unashamed love and criticism of his English and British heritage was refreshing when compared to our trivial and cynical modern culture. An astonishing book.
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