Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour.
In 1914 the world changed. Europe's great powers were dragged, one by one, into a war by Serbian conflict which affected very few of them directly. At least it would resemble the short sharp battles of the previous century, many thought - fought with military bands, horsemen, and swift victories.
But 1914 proved to be different, a watershed, as old notions of war were trampled in the mud.' 1914: History in an Hour' is the indispensable overview of the year that marked the end of the Belle Époque and the shocking birth of modern mechanised warfare.
It became a war of unimaginable horror, fought with terrifying new weapons that produced death on an industrial scale, a war that involved so many nations and reached into the fabric of their societies. 1914 shaped the First World War, and the years beyond.
"If the past is a foreign country, History in an Hour is like a high-class tour operator, offering delightfully enjoyable short breaks in the rich and diverse continent of our shared past." (Dominic Sandbrook)
"The practice of History is ever-evolving, and the History In an Hour idea brings it back up to date for the digital age. Colley writes in an attractively readable style, and manages to convey the huge story that is WWII in a logical and accessible manner" (Andrew Roberts, Bookseller)
"This is genius" (MacWorld.com)
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I am not a historian by any stretch, but WW1 is a particularly interesting subject to me that I enjoy knowing more about. You can't fault a "History in an Hour" book for missing large chunks of info you might expect on a given subject, even when it is covering only a single year of history. The tone of this book, though, does not jive with other histories I have read in its (I would argue) rosy depiction of Serbia and the Serbian cause. Also, the book is on the outbreak and first season of WW1 but ends with a historically rough transition to the end of WW1 as if to illustrate to the listener that the rest of the war was uneventful.
- Ben Curell