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    Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (William Collins) (Paperback) By (author) Sir Max Hastings

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    DescriptionA magisterial chronicle of the calamity that crippled Europe in 1914. In 1914, Europe plunged into the 20th century's first terrible act of self-immolation - what was then called The Great War. On the eve of its centenary, Max Hastings seeks to explain both how the conflict came about and what befell millions of men and women during the first months of strife. He finds the evidence overwhelming, that Austria and Germany must accept principal blame for the outbreak. While what followed was a vast tragedy, he argues passionately against the 'poets' view', that the war was not worth winning. It was vital to the freedom of Europe, he says, that the Kaiser's Germany should be defeated. His narrative of the early battles will astonish those whose images of the war are simply of mud, wire, trenches and steel helmets. Hastings describes how the French Army marched into action amid virgin rural landscapes, in uniforms of red and blue, led by mounted officers, with flags flying and bands playing. The bloodiest day of the entire Western war fell on 22 August 1914, when the French lost 27,000 dead. Four days later, at Le Cateau the British fought an extraordinary action against the oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost they held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres.The author also describes the brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where by Christmas the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs had inflicted on each other three million casualties. This book offers answers to the huge and fascinating question 'what happened to Europe in 1914?', through Max Hastings's accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts from a multitude of statesmen and generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations. His narrative pricks myths and offers some striking and controversial judgements. For a host of readers gripped by the author's last international best-seller 'All Hell Let Loose', this will seem a worthy successor.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Catastrophe

    Title
    Catastrophe
    Subtitle
    Europe Goes to War 1914
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Sir Max Hastings
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 672
    Width: 130 mm
    Height: 197 mm
    Thickness: 48 mm
    Weight: 520 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780007519743
    ISBN 10: 0007519745
    Classifications

    BIC subject category V2: HBG
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.4
    BIC E4L: WAR
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1D
    BIC subject category V2: JWL
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3JJF
    BIC subject category V2: HBWN
    BISAC V2.8: HIS037000
    Libri: ENGM2000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15570
    BISAC V2.8: HIS027090
    Libri: ERST3000, WELT1024, WELT2600
    BIC subject category V2: 1D, 3JJF
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDU
    BIC subject category V2: 1QDU
    BISAC V2.8: HIS027000
    DC23: 940.3
    Illustrations note
    Illustrations (black and white), maps (black and white)
    Publisher
    HarperCollins Publishers
    Imprint name
    William Collins
    Publication date
    08 May 2014
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Sir Max Hastings is the author of twenty-five books, many of them about war. He was educated at Charterhouse and University College, Oxford, which he quit after a year to become a journalist. Thereafter he reported for newspapers and BBC TV from sixty-four countries and eleven conflicts, notably the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Vietnam and the 1982 Battle for the Falklands. Between 1986 and 2002 he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, then editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and for his books, most recently the 2012 Chicago Pritzker Library's $100,000 literary award for his contribution to military history, and the RUSI's Westminster Medal for his international best-seller All Hell Let Loose. He has two grown-up children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife Penny in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically.
    Review quote
    BOOK OF THE YEAR - AS CHOSEN BY THE INDEPENDENT, FINANCIAL TIMES, OBSERVER, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT AND SPECTATOR. 'Like one of Field Marshal Haig's family whiskies, Max Hastings is a dram that steadily improves with age ... His position as Britain's leading military historian is now unassailable ... In this enormously impressive new book, Hastings effortlessly masters the complex lead-up to and opening weeks of the First World War ... [He] is as magisterial as we would expect ... This is a magnificent and deeply moving book, and with Max Hastings as our guide we are in the hands of a master' Nigel Jones, Telegraph 'Hastings is the author of consistently good histories of WWII. But with 'Catastrophe' he has reached a new level of excellence' The Times 'Magnificent ... Hastings writes with an enviable grasp of pace and balance, as well as an acute eye for human detail. Even for readers who care nothing for the difference between a battalion and a division, his book is at once moving, provocative and utterly engrossing' Sunday Times 'Masterly ... Hastings is a brilliant guide to that strange, febrile twilight before Europe plunged into darkness. Writing in pungent prose suffused with irony and underpinned by a strong sense of moral outrage ... this is history-writing at its best, scholarly and fluent ... for anyone wanting to understand how that ghastly, much-misunderstood conflict came about, there could be no better place to start than this fine book' The Times 'One could scarcely ask for a better guide to these horrors than Max Hastings ... he is a superb writer with a rare gift for evoking the rhythm, mood and raw physical terror of battle ... If you are looking for a humane and compelling interpretive chronicle of the formative months of this horrific conflict, you will find none better' Mail on Sunday 'Very readable. Character, pace, sense of landscape, battlefield detail - all are superbly done ... it's a splendid read' Observer