With the centenary of the Great War looming ever rapidly, interest will, and could said to have already, rise extremely quickly, and with it books, documentaries, films etc etc. One issue with the Great War, especially in the UK, is that by and large it is misunderstood, with many myths and even just basic inaccuracies that have been put forward and regurgitated by authors, the media, documentaries and others.
What this book does, and very timely too, just in time to reach as wide an audience as possible before the centenary, is describe, simply, the war. Not from any country's individual viewpoint (how many in Britain are aware of what happened on the Eastern Front, or indeed of any part of the Western Front not occupied by the French, who lost more men by the end of 1914 than we lost in the entire war?), or forcing an opinion, but simply putting the facts as to what happened, why it happened, and what the result was, interspersed with first hand accounts put into context and helping to illustrate the author's point or give further information as to what it was like to be on the ground. Many books on the Great War either focus on first hand accounts, or by giving a general overview and just describing units without getting a feel for what it was like to be there - this book manages to weave the two together very well.
I cannot highly reccommend this book enough for anyone interested in the war - I have been studying various aspects of the Great War for around six years now, but just several pages into this book I realised just how little of the conflict as a 'World War' I actually knew, and am extremely glad this has come along and re-educated me!