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Publisher's Summary

Christmas 1913: In Britain, people are debating a new dance called ‘the tango’. In Germany, they are fascinated by the wedding of the Kaiser’s daughter to the Duke of Brunswick. Little did they know that their world was on ‘The Eve of War’, a catastrophe that was to engulf the continent, cost millions of lives, and change the course of the century. And yet behind the scenes, the Great Powers were marching towards what they thought was an inevitable conflict.
In this controversial and concise essay, the military historian Paul Ham argues that the First World War was not an historical mistake, a conflict into which the Great Powers stumbled by accident. Nor was it a justified war, in which uncontained German aggression had to be defeated. Instead the politicians and generals of the day willed the war, and prepared for it - but eventually found themselves caught up in an inferno they could no longer control.
Paul Ham is the author of the forthcoming 1914: The Year the World Ended, to be published by Random House in Britain in 2014. He has previously written the acclaimed Sandakanz, Kokoda, Vietnam: The Australian War and Hiroshima Nagasaki. A former Australia Correspondent of the Sunday Times, he was born in Sydney and educated in Australia and Britain. He now lives in Sydney and Paris.
©2013 Paul Ham (P)2014 Audible Studios
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Critic Reviews

"[A] vivid, comprehensive and quietly furious account...Paul Ham brings new tools to the job, unearthing fresh evidence of a deeply disturbing sort. He has a magpie eye for the telling detail" (Ben Macintyre, The Times)
"Provocative and challenging… A voice that is both vigorous and passionate" (Christopher Sylvester, Daily Express)
"Controversial...Well documented and stringently argued" (Peter Lewis, Daily Mail)"
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By customers coins on 01-01-18

1913 The Eve of War

My husband taught me, guided me, into an appreciation of history. For that I'll always be Thankful. Happy New Year! My hope is that more people learn history, good, bad as it was, as it is. Thank-you

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By Annette on 06-09-15

Mediocre, neither good nor bad

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I wouldn't say it was a waste of time, but it wasn't terribly enjoyable, either.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something with a lighter subject, perhaps.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Christopher Oxford?

I don't know enough about narrators to answer this question.

Did 1913 inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to avoid books narrated by Christopher Oxford.

Any additional comments?

I will probably keep it I the library, but may not ever listen to it again.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Curly on 01-07-18

A well argued opinion.

A generally understandable explanation for the origin of the first world war. Easy to read in one sitting

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