“Good overview of the First World War. A major strength of this book are the background essays between chapters, they provide insight into the main players in the conflict (individuals and groups). They help the reader understand just how complicated the politics of Europe was at the time and the...”see full review » see other reviews »
“I have long wanted to read a history of WWI, and saw this one in the library. I am glad i got it out. A very good and depressing book, it is depressing because it is so well written. Meyer illustrates quite well the insanity that was WWI. Never have so many people been able to consistently do the stupidest things.”David the Librarian wrote this review Wednesday, January 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good overview of the First World War. A major strength of this book are the background essays between chapters, they provide insight into the main players in the conflict (individuals and groups). They help the reader understand just how complicated the politics of Europe was at the time and the reasoning behind some strange decision making that prolonged the war.”Alan wrote this review Thursday, January 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“While I've only read 3 compilations on the First World War, this is the best of those 3. That doesn't mean it's not without defects. The others tended to cover 1914 and 1915 in detail, to the extent that about 50% of these books would be on those two years, leaving not much coverage on the other 3 years of the war.
This book gives a more even handed approach to each year as far as the land war and the politics concerned. What this book doesn't do at all if cover what happened in Africa, Asia and gives scant coverage to the naval war, the ground fighting in the Middle East, outside of Gallipoli. With the European land war, most of that coverage is given to the Western front, primarily France and Belgium with some attention given to the Italian Front. The Eastern Front and the Balkans could have received more attention.
I would recommend this book to someone to read. It's primary strength is the politics as to why certain decisions and offensives were made. However, I would also recommend a book like John Keegan's The First World War to cover the parts this book covers or barely covers. The Battle of Jutland, arguably one of the biggest battles of the war and definitely the largest at sea, received a few scant paragraphs. A few more varied maps would also have been helpful.”
“I had read very little about WWI. This book presents a very good overview of WWI, as well as providing a good description of the various military leaders -- Haig, Rawlinson, Foch, Petain, Joffre, Falkenhaym, Ludendorf, von Hindenburg, Brusilov, Cadorna, etc. Highly recommended”Jwalsh53 wrote this review Friday, March 25, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death. ”MOF wrote this review Monday, February 28, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An amazing book about WWI. Alternates between the chronological narrative and background essays so the casual historian can learn about the convoluted causes of the war and the many leaders.
The war still cast a long shadow over our world and this book truly explains why this war gave birth to the world we now live in and killed off the world of empires. I like that the author did not focus on close up tactics of each battle just a small glaze of what happened at the soldier level and then back to why the generals and civilian leaders made the decisions they did.
Great reading and proof that war is too important to be left to the generals.”
“This book is incredible! It explains everything about World War 1, even negotiations and tactics. This book starts off with a complete retelling of the events that led up to world war 1. It explains negotiation tactics and mobilazation problems, and anything that happened before the war. Then, the book tells you about the wars greatest moments in detail, such as the miracle at the Marne. I have to admit, this book has the mos detail I've ever seen!
Over 400 pages”
“If you have any interest in WWI, read this. It's an awesome single-volume history that gives both a great overview and enough detail to make it personal. Probably the best single-volume history I've ever read. ”Wade A wrote this review Wednesday, November 11, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very good single volume coverage of the war. In fact, as an overview I think better than Keegan, Liddell-Hart, and some of the other one volume treatments.”Gill W wrote this review Friday, September 5, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Probably the best one-volume book on WWI I've read in a very long while. Meyer is a great writer who keeps things moving, never losing the reader along the way. Very fresh, crisp, and energetic. A page-turner in WWI history...and that's saying a lot!”Peggy K wrote this review Saturday, March 8, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No