4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Read only one chapter a day,
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This review is from: 1913: The World before the Great War (Hardcover)
The author allows the reader to visit 22 major cities of the world in 1913 with a wonderfully rich and erudite dialogue that leaves you feeling you've had more than enough after each chapter. There are no maps - they would be superfluous. The ambient mood, stresses and strains, major influences and evolutions are described in each case, with mention as to how increasingly democratised peoples, at least in spirit, see their world and how it will evolve. The overall tone is somehow positive, implying that the European and Middle Eastern conflagration about to descend the following year would be quite nonsensical and out of place. Britain was already being challenged internally by the increasingly bellicose attitudes of suffragettes, unions, and opposing sides in Ireland. In Europe and the west the craze was the Tango, Germans did not need passports to come to Britain, France's population was declining, and the Kaiser had even been nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1911. But the shift in the centre of gravity of the world away from Europe had already irredeemably commenced, and empires were dissolving into looser unions. The threads that link reality then to that of today are discernible. This is no mechanical treatment - the book flows well and without any imposing structure, almost to a fault. Read only one chapter a day.