The First World War: A Very Short Introduction

The First World War: A Very Short Introduction

3.88 (1,311 ratings by Goodreads)
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By the time the First World War ended in 1918, eight million people had died in what had been perhaps the most apocalyptic episode the world had known. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise and insightful history of the 'Great War', focusing on why it happened, how it was fought, and why it had the consequences it did.

It examines the state of Europe in 1914 and the outbreak of war; the onset of attrition and crisis; the role of the US; the collapse of Russia; and the weakening and eventual surrender of the Central Powers. Looking at the historical controversies surrounding the causes and conduct of war, Michael Howard also describes how peace was ultimately made, and the potent legacy of resentment left to Germany.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 110 x 175 x 8mm | 126g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous maps and halftones
  • 0199205590
  • 9780199205592
  • 17,434

Table of contents

1. Europe in 1914 ; 2. The Coming of War ; 3. 1914: The Opening Campaigns ; 4. 1915: The War Continues ; 5. 1916: The War of Attrition ; 6. The United States Enters the War ; 7. 1917: The Year of Crisis ; 8. 1918: The Year of Decision ; 9. The Settlement ; Appendix I: President Wilson's Fourteen Points ; Appendix II: Total War Casualties ; Further Reading
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Review quote

Review from previous edition Review from previous edition succinct, comprehensive and beautifully written. Indeed reading it is an experience comparable to scanning the clues of a well-composed crossword puzzle. Every allusion is eventually supplied with an answer, and the finished product defies the puzzler's disbelief that the intricacies can be brought to a convincing conclusion. . . . Michael Howard is the master of the short book * TLS * Howard expertly and succintly summarizes the Great War for the layperson... volume is an excellent way to get a grounding in this momentous subject * Forbes Global 21/03/03 * an enlightened idea to produce a very short account of the great war - a page per month - . . . . But if, in 2014, bright schoolchildren, their brains putified by GCSE, get around to asking what the first world war was about, Howard's book will be very valuable. * The Times, Culture * Professor Sir Michael Howard, . . ., is our best living military historian, and perhaps also strategic thinker. His new work is a masterly introduction to the Great War, desgined for those with no previous knowldge of the subject. . . . Any new student who reads Michael Howard should go on to address the first volume of Hew Strachan's huge new work on the same theme. There is great wisdom in both books, and wisdom on this subject is in short supply. * Sunday Telegraph *
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About Michael Howard

Sir Michael Howard CH is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at both Oxford and Yale Universities. His many books include The Causes of Wars, War in European History, The Lessons of History, The Invention of Peace, The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century (edited with W. R. Louis), War and the Liberal Conscience, The Franco-Prussian War (Duff Cooper Memorial Prize) and Grand Strategy, vol. iv
in The UK Official History of the Second World War.
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Rating details

1,311 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 24% (310)
4 46% (606)
3 26% (337)
2 3% (44)
1 1% (14)
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