With Our Backs to the Wall : Victory and Defeat in 1918
FINANCIAL TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR and DAILY TELEGRAPH BOOKS OF THE YEAR Shortlisted for the 2012 DUKE OF WESTMINSTER MEDAL FOR MILITARY LITERATURE At the end of 1917 Britain and France faced a strategic nightmare. Their great offensives against Germany had been calamitous, leaving hundreds of thousands of young men dead and wounded for negligible territorial gains. Despite America's entry into the war the US army remained tiny, the Italian army had been routed, and Russia had dropped out of the conflict. The Central Powers now dominated Central and Eastern Europe, and Germany could move over forty divisions to the Western Front. Yet only one year later, on 11 November 1918, the fighting ended in a decisive Allied victory. Stevenson's rich and compelling book retells the story of 1918, and with penetrating original research goes to the very roots of this instrumental turning point in modern history.
- Paperback | 752 pages
- 128 x 196 x 36mm | 521.63g
- 31 May 2012
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
About David Stevenson
David Stevenson is a Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and author of the highly praised 1914-1918: The History of the First World War: 'Momentous... this history of the conflict surpasses all others', Independent; 'Superb', Ian Kershaw; 'David Stevenson is the real deal', Niall Ferguson; 'The best comprehensive one-volume history of the war yet written', New Yorker.
It is impossible ... to exaggerate how impressive this book is -- David Crane * The Spectator * Brilliant and comprehensive ... a major contribution -- A. W. Purdue * The Times Higher Education Supplement * This is, as one would expect from a historian of Stevenson's great learning and analytical power, a masterly study * The Sunday Telegraph * An immensely useful study, emphasising the crucial importance of morale, political stability and trust -- Max Egremont * Literary Review * Stevenson brings to his study a formidable authority and mastery of the sources, and judgments that seem admirably measured and nuanced -- Max Hastings * Sunday Times * A fascinating military narrative ... masterly -- William Anthony Hay * Wall Street Journal * A magnificent and exhaustive account of the war's final year ... Stevenson has a deserved reputation as one of the world's leading authorities on the war -- Tony Barber * Financial Times * A magisterial single volume synthesis of all the themes to deliver a punchy, incisive reboot of WW1 history that is never a dull read * Warships International Fleet Review * An outstanding contribution -- Frank Ellis * Quarterly Review * A monumental study deserving of a wide readership by scholars and generalists alike * Library Journal * Stevenson's grand scope, his international perspective, and his reliable judgements, combined with crystal-clear writing, have produced an exemplary book, a formidable contribution to our understanding of the Great War and the twentieth century * English Historical Review * The strength of the book lies in his ability to weave together astute analysis of the antagonists' abilities and weaknesses ... Told with verve and analytical vigour, Stevenson's book is a compelling and authoritative study of one of the most significant turning points in 20th-century military history -- Robert Gerwath * The Irish Times * Stevenson's detailed, lucid description of the development and maturation of that ability reflects encyclopedic mastery of published and archival sources while synergizing military, economic, political, and social-cultural factors. It is a professor's page-turner. It is also a door-opener to any reader seeking to understand the Great War's last stage * Publishers Weekly *