The First World War

The First World War

3.86 (1,603 ratings by Goodreads)
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"This serious, compact survey of the war's history stands out as the most well-informed, accessible work available." (Los Angeles Times) Nearly a century has passed since the outbreak of World War I, yet as military historian Hew Strachan (winner of the 2016 Pritzker Literature Award) argues in this brilliant and authoritative new book, the legacy of the "war to end all wars" is with us still. The First World War was a truly global conflict from the start, with many of the most decisive battles fought in or directly affecting the Balkans, Africa, and the Ottoman Empire. Even more than World War II, the First World War continues to shape the politics and international relations of our world, especially in hot spots like the Middle East and the Balkans. Strachan has done a masterful job of reexamining the causes, the major campaigns, and the consequences of the First World War, compressing a lifetime of knowledge into a single definitive volume tailored for the general reader. Written in crisp, compelling prose and enlivened with extraordinarily vivid photographs and detailed maps, The First World War re-creates this world-altering conflict both on and off the battlefield--the clash of ideologies between the colonial powers at the center of the war, the social and economic unrest that swept Europe both before and after, the military strategies employed with stunning success and tragic failure in the various theaters of war, the terms of peace and why it didn't last. Drawing on material culled from many countries, Strachan offers a fresh, clear-sighted perspective on how the war not only redrew the map of the world but also set in motion the most dangerous conflicts of today. Deeply learned, powerfully written, and soon to be released with a new introduction that commemorates the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the war, The First World War remains a landmark of contemporary history.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 364 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 30mm | 449.06g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0143035185
  • 9780143035183
  • 96,976

Table of contents


1. To arms 1
2. Under the eagle 33
3. Global war 65
4. Jihad 97
5. Shackled to a corpse 129
6. Breaking the deadlock 161
7. Blockade 199
8. Revolution 251
9. Germany's last gamble 267
10. War without end 301

Acknowledgements 341
Notes 345
Index 355
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Review quote

Praise for The First World War "This serious, compact survey of the war's history stands out as the most well-informed, accessible work available."
--Los Angeles Times

"What Strachan offers is history as only the professionals can do it, and rarely enough even then."
--Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

"Likely to be the most indispensable one-volume work on the subject since John Keegan's First World War."
--Publishers Weekly

"A brilliant feat."
--John Keegan

"Quite simply the best short history of the war in print."
--Dennis Showalter
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About Sir Hew Strachan

Hew Strachan (winner of the 2016 Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing) is the Chichele Professor of the History of War and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford University. The editor of The Oxford History of the First World War, he is writing a three-volume history of the First World War, the first volume of which was published in 2001 to wide acclaim.
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Rating details

1,603 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 28% (448)
4 39% (625)
3 26% (421)
2 5% (81)
1 2% (28)
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