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on 17 June 2012
The History in an Hour series are proving to be very good at concise introductions to individual, large subjects, and so it is with World War One. Most people know a little about the trenches and the horrific slaughter but how many have heard of the devastating Iraq campaign or how many thousands of troops were stationed in Greece doing not a lot except making their presence felt so Greece would stay on the Allies side?

There are brief dips into the war at sea, in the air and how a young Winston Churchill was the prime mover of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. The place were this book excels is right at the beginning as it explains why people wanted Arch Duke Ferdinand dead, how his driver's wrong turn presented the assassin with opportunity and the quick slide into war as countries were drawn in by commitments of mutual defence made in treaties signed long ago.

This is a top flight book which gives you the strategic overview of the war to end all wars, if only that last phrase were true. At the end of the book there is a brief biography of major personalities involved in the war and a chronology of events.
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To be honest I was a bit dubious about this book at first, until I started reading it that is. People of my generation studied World War 1 at school, so have an extensive background into the subject, and also in my case our school did also take us to the Imperial War Museum, which also helped a lot in understanding what it was like to live and fight in the trenches.

This book tries to gather the main points together into something that will take you about an hour to read, also including appendices and photos. All in all this does actually do a great job of this. It shows how the war started and the reasons, as well as the main countries involved. Where else this excels is how it shows things being inter-connected, such as the Easter Uprisings in Ireland, the revolution in Russia, and how such countries as Israel started to be created. Of course this would not be complete if it didn't show the world how it was after the war and some of the reasons for the next World War.

This is ideal for anyone wanting to brush up on the First World War, and I would say that this is excellent for anyone having to study this for history and would be ideal for school children. With an active table of contents and the inclusion of photos obviously a lot of thought has gone into this.
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on 4 November 2012
I studied WWI at school but we never got the big picture. It was a war of important events seemingly unconnected and quickly forgotten.

This book has done wonders bringing all the bits together to present a good overview of the whole war. It is a great introduction to WWI which explains who did what, where and why. The details of the main figures of the war at the end is useful too, as is the chronology of events. It should be required reading for all schoolchildren embarking on a study of WWI.

I found it really useful and will now read WWII which I hope will be as good.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 November 2016
Great to the point facts about World War One flows really easy to read and increased my knowledge of the war great read unfortunately very sad when you think of the loss of lives for the sake of a wrong turn by a driver
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on 10 January 2014
Become very interested in the First World War since finding my great uncles's grave; he died on the Somme. We both wanted to know more about the War and have bought quite a few books. But it is such a large and complex subject and it is difficult to get a clear overview as each author, excellent in their own particular part of the War, gives a slightly different account. This one is a clear, concise and very understandable whizz through the causes and progress of the 1st WW. It doesn't go into huge detail but give a good bare bones account which can be fleshed out through further reading if you so wish. Both my husband and I are pleased I bought this one - very well written.
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on 24 October 2012
Very readable, and despite it being relatively short there are areas covered that were new to me. I don't think that I could recommend a better way of getting to grips with this period. A worthy effort deserving of 5*s, but I agree that you'd have to read quickly to get this one finished in an hour!
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on 13 November 2016
The History in an Hour series is incredibly useful. This book in particular offers a concise and somewhat emotive account of First World War, which have me plenty of basis to start planning a series of lessons for my students. The timeline of events and short biographies of key individuals nearer the end of the book both extend the book's usefulness as an introduction to the topic, which is exactly its intention.
I would recommend this book to anyone who possesses a rudimentary knowledge of the First World War and seeks to deepen their understanding, as well as educators looking for a teaching resource.
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on 13 June 2012
A concise history of the Great War which covers the political and economic aspects of this conflict. It also describes the 'forgotten' war in the Middle East. A usefull intro or revision aid
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 August 2014
As would be expected from the title, this book is a simple and straightforward account of the history of World War One.

Any historical account that renders years of complex conflict into one hour of reading is, by definition, going to have to take a few short cuts and render the complicated simple.

But is this a problem?

In this case I think not. The aim of this book seems to be to provide a simple narrative that allows the reader to grasp the way in which the events of the war developed, without have to wade through pages of fine print analysis.

In my opinion, this book would be an excellent “first read” about WW1, giving the reader enough of a framework to move on to move complex studies. If you are like me, I much prefer to know (vaguely) where I am going when I read history – and I wish I had read this book before I had ventured into some of the longer ones I have read.

In summary, a simple introduction, which given the current memorial events deserves to be widely read.
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on 6 November 2012
I happened upon this e-Book whilst researching for a film project related to World War One. This book did not disappoint and is actually quite comprehensive - I must confess, it took me well over an hour to read. Despite the swiftness of the accounts, the writing does not lack depth or impact. History in an Hour is a fine idea, and I shall be downloading others in this series.
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