The First World War

  • by Hew Strachan
  • Narrated by Clive Chafer
  • 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A century has passed since the outbreak of World War I, yet as military historian Hew Strachan 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. 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 listener. Written in crisp, compelling prose, 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.

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What the Critics Say

"This serious, compact survey of the war's history stands out as the most well-informed, accessible work available." (Los Angeles Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Outstanding narrative of the military action

Hew Strachan, more than most other authors on the First World War, gives a sense of its global involvement. The initial war in Serbia is described in some detail; the Eastern front gets almost as much attention as the Western front; the war in the Aegean consists of more than just Gallipoli; and there's a whole chapter devoted to the war in Africa. This is probably the best one-volume description of the military action of the war. Where Strachan falls short is in his evocation of the impact of the war on the soldiers fighting it: the mud, the despair, the endless shelling, the body parts blown out of the ground by fresh shelling. But in terms of what he set out to do, it's an outstanding account. The narration by Clive Chafer is serviceable but not particularly emotional.
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- Tad Davis

Narrator hard to deal with

I don't know if it was my OCD, but the narrator used a distinct and consistent cadence that I found hard to get past. His sentences had a distinct speaking pattern that never seemed to vary and made the material very dull. The story seemed to assume a lot of geographic knowledge that the newcomer to this history probably wouldn't have. If you had some significant knowledge of WW1 before you read this book, it might be better. If you know basics of the War and want to get more in depth, this probably is not a good book to go with.
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- Airmike3

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-07-2017
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio