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Publisher's Summary

In 1914, a new kind of war came about, bringing with it a new kind of world. World War One began on horseback, with generals employing bayonet charges to gain ground, and ended with attacks resembling the Nazi blitzkriegs. The scale of devastation was unlike anything the world had seen before: 14 million combatants died, a further 20 million were wounded, and four empires were destroyed. Even the victors' empires were fatally damaged.An overwhelming disaster from which the world is still recovering, World War One can seem baffling in its complexity. But now Norman Stone, one of world's greatest military historians, has composed a dazzlingly lucid and succinct history of the conflict. Stone has distilled a lifetime of teaching, arguing, and thinking into this brisk and opinionated account of the fundamental tragedy of the 20th century.
©2009 Norman Stone; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Stone is as unconventional as he is brilliant, and this provocative interpretation of the Great War combines impressive command of the literature with a telling eye for relevant facts and a sensitive ear for telling epigrams." (Publishers Weekly)
"[Stone] examines the broad canvas of the war, taking us from 1914 to 1918. He describes, often quite vividly, the armies of the Central Powers and the Allies as they slog across the fields of Flanders and northern France, through the morass of the Balkans, across rivers and over mountains in Central Europe, chewing up farms and villages, not to mention millions of lives, in the process....There are lovely images, adroit turns of phrase, flashes of wry British wit, amusing details." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Stone is able to pack an enormity of information into the smallest space, and with a remarkable eye for detail....The wonder is that Stone is able to create a narrative of this sweep and brevity while also providing such evocative descriptions." (The American Spectator)
"Stone's book is a special pleasure - a concise, pithy mix of fact and judgment." (Dallas Morning News)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tad Davis on 09-23-09

Well told, well narrated; needs maps

This is a great "read": the reviews that describe it as surprisingly chock full of information, given its narrative grace and its length, are right on target. Simon Prebble does a good job presenting the narrative. You won't find a more comprehensive four-and-a-half hour account anywhere. Overall, very satisfying. The one thing missing are the maps. Maybe it's just me, but I can't read (or listen to) a description of a battle without looking at a map. Fortunately atlases of World War One are easy to come by, and I recommend having one at hand for this.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Parola138 on 11-10-10

Exactly what I wanted

I've read dozens of books about WWII and the Civil War, and still have only scratched the surface of those two great conflicts. There are practically no audiobooks regarding the first World War. I liked that this book was short, and found the narration absolutely perfect. You will not come away from it knowing what Franz Ferdinand's favorite fruit was, but you'll at least understand the basics of this conflict and a bit about all the mistakes everyone made. Don't get this book looking for depth, but you get what you get with 4 hours of audio. This is a great book for exactly what is intended- an overview, a timeline, and the parties involved.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 03-12-18

Superb overview

I’ve always found the first world world confusing. This pacy overview clarified much of my confusion and also presented useful information about the Eastern Front which is often overlooked by U.K. accounts of the conflict. I listened to it over the course of two days - it was riveting, never dull or overly technical. Well worth a listen.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Andyjn on 10-07-17

A good book

This book is a quick and informative introduction to the First World War. A good listen

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