The Pity of War
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The Pity of War

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The First World War killed around eight million men and bled Europe dry. In this provocative book Niall Ferguson asks: was the sacrifice worth it? Was it all really an inevitable cataclysm and were the Germans a genuine threat? Was the war, as is often asserted, greeted with popular enthusiasm? Why did men keep on fighting when conditions were so wretched? Was there in fact a death wish abroad, driving soldiers to their own destruction? The war, he argues, was a disaster - but not for the reasons we think. Far worse than a tragedy, it was the greatest error of modern history. "The most challenging and provocative analysis of the First World War to date." (Ian Kershaw). "Must take a permanent place at the top of the War's historiography. It is one of the very few books whose own scale matches that of the events it describes." (Alan Clark, Daily Telegraph). "Possibly the most important book to appear in years both on the origins of the First World War...Ferguson can confidently claim to have inherited A. J. P. Taylor's mantle." (Paul Kennedy, New York Review of Books). "At one massive stroke, Niall Ferguson has transformed the intellectual landscape." (Economist).

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Product details

  • Paperback | 672 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 34mm | 521.63g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • portraits
  • 0140275231
  • 9780140275230
  • 34,559

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Review quote

The most challenging and provocative analysis of the First World War to date -- Ian Kershaw Must take a permanent place at the top of the War's historiography. It is one of the very few books whose own scale matches that of the events it describes -- Alan Clark Daily Telegraph Brilliant and stimulating ... radical, readable and convincing The Times Possibly the most important book to appear in years both on the origins of the First World War ... Ferguson can confidently claim to have inherited A. J. P. Taylor's mantle -- Paul Kennedy New York Review of Books At one massive stroke, Niall Ferguson has transformed the intellectual landscape Economist

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About Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is the author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, High Financier, Civilization and The Great Degeneration. His Kissinger, a feature-length film based on his interviews with Henry Kissinger, won the 2011 New York Film Festival prize for best documentary. His many other prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).

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