The First World War: A Complete History

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Phoenix, 2008 - World War, 1914-1918 - 615 pages
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1994
It was to be the war to end all wars, and it began at 11:15 on the morning of June 28, 1914, in an outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire called Sarajevo. It would end officially almost five years later. Unofficially, it has never ended: the horrors we live with today were born in the First World War.
It left millions--civilians and soldiers--maimed or dead. And it left us with new technologies of death: tanks, planes and submarines; reliable rapid-fire machine guns and field artillery, poison gas and chemical warfare. It introduced us to U-boat packs and strategic bombing, to unrestricted war on civilians and maltreatment of prisoners. most of all, it changed our world. In its wake, empires toppled, monarchies fell, whole populations lost their national identities as political systems and geographic boundaries realigned. Instabilities were institutionalized, enmities enshrined. And the social order shifted seismically. Manners, mores, codes of behavior; literature and the arts; education and class distinctions--all underwent a vast sea change. In all these ways, the twentieth century can be said to have been born on the morning of June 28, 1914.

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User Review  - bevok - LibraryThing

Historians come in many flavours. There are those who expound on the big picture, who create masterful theories that appear to explain a lot, and some who dive into the detail of personalities and ... Read full review

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User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Accessible one-volume history of the mechanical slaughter of the First World War. A bit Anglocentric, and cites a lot of poetry as well as memoirs, but still earth-shattering stuff. The start of the chaotic century. Read full review


Prelude to war I
Wild with joy

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About the author (2008)

Born in London in 1936 and now resident in north London, Sir Martin Gilbert was educated at Highgate School and Magdalene College, Oxford. An outstanding historian of the 20th century, he became the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill in 1968 and has written to great acclaim on the Holocaust and the events of the Second World War.

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