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on 2 January 2012
If, like me, you have little understanding of the causes and development of the Great War, this is an excellent primer and an easy read. It assumes minimal knowledge on the part of the reader and by the time you reach the end of the book you will have a good overview of the dreadful events of 1914-1918. This being a short introduction, I was left feeling I needed to know more about certain aspects but that is the point of the book.
My only real criticism is that the book contains a number of photographs which are not particularly interesting or relevant but no maps or plans of the battles, particularly on the Western Front, which I would have found useful in understanding the tactics being employed.
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on 18 January 2011
I took my son to the Imperial War Museum between Xmas and New Year last year (thoroughly recommended) and was a bit disappointed at my lack of knowledge on WW1. Not bad on WW2 but as my son is studying WW1 in Year 8 I thought I had better gen up on it so I could help him.

I found this after a search on here and to be honest it could not have been any better. It is well written, concise and gives an excellent overview of what happened from the lead up to the war and on through it.

I found it to be a great education and rather thought provoking given what is going on in the world today, and what we have witnessed in Europe in the last 20 years, times, perhaps, don't change too much.

I suspect the purists will moan that this is a bit lightweight but for me it was absolutely spot on, a great, interesting read about a subject that I didn't realise had such influence elsewhere.

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on 7 February 2013
Of course this isn't comprehensive but for an overview of what led up to, and happened, during WW1, this is good. If you want to read about the various battles and campaigns, and what life in the trenches was like, then suggest you look elsewhere, much of the book deals with the politics, but this doesn't make it dry and dull. Recommended.
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on 27 October 2014
Read it from cover to cover in a couple of days. Very digestible and a good overview. By no means comprehensive, but then I don't think that was the author's intention. Would recommend.
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on 19 May 2016
This is a succinct synthesis of the incredibly complex historical phenomenon that was the First World War. Howard writes in an engaging style and, when taken at face value as a 'very short introduction', provides just that incredibly well.
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on 12 December 2013
This is a concise and good book to get to understand the whys and wherefore of the War by all the family.
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on 23 August 2015
interesting book, thank you.
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on 8 August 2013
This is a great brief synopsis and also a good introduction for anyone starting out on a voyage of discovery about World War 1.
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on 6 July 2014
excelent summary
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on 19 July 2014
An excellent summary of a complex subject. Very easy to read.
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