The First World War [Paperback]
- Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date:
- 10 October 2008
Showing 1-4 out of 4 reviews.
This is one of my favorite books for general reference. Maps are not great, though.
This is narrative history at its best. It covers events chronologically, moving from front to front, but without awkward breaks. The coverage is military and political but also the human dimension, with many stories of individual tragedy, horror and heroism. This will stay with me for a long time. The only slight downer is the maps, which are all at the end of the book, unrelated to the narrative and not terribly clear.
Accessible one-volume history of the mechanical slaughter of the First World War. A bit Anglocentric, and cites a lot of poetry as well as memoirs, but still earth-shattering stuff. The start of the chaotic century.
Although this book bills itself as an complete history of WWI,I came away disappointed. Gilbert barely discusses the war in Africa,the air war and the war at sea. There is no in depth discussion of strategy and tactics for the major land battles.Gilbert does a good job of presenting the eyewitness view of the war though this is predominately from the British point of view. There was hardly a French viewpoint and the German and Italian view seemed to be derived solely from Hitler and Mussolini. Gilbert seems to delight in pointing out that a lot of poets fought in the war and put much of their poetry in the book which is distracting.This work should be considered as introductory material and not as the end all in the study of WWI.Because of its strong British point of view I cannot consider this work as subjective. For that and because Gilbert fails to cover the African Campaign,Air War and the war at sea I give this book a three and half star rating.
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