Strachan, Hew.


Simon & Schuster, 1st ed., 2003. Xviii + 350 pp., 34 cold., photo-plates + numerous b&w photo-ills., + 6 maps. D.j., 25 x 19cm. FINE. The author here presents a stunning new account of the hostilities which offers many new interpretations of and insights into one of the defining events of the twentieth century. This one-volume history is not just riveting digest for the general reader of his other writing, it also provides the narrative structure and direction of the accompanying ten-part Channel 4 series in 2003. For the first time, it offers a truly global vision of a conflict which is often misconceived as a prolonged skirmish on the Western Front. The author argues convincingly that the war had become a ‘world war’ long before the involvement of the United States and the Russian Revolution of 1917. Far from being a ‘European civil war’, the conflict involved the colonial territories of European powers, and touched areas as far-flung as the Balkans, Africa and the Ottoman Empire. It was the existence of these territories that helped explain why the war did not seem futile at the time : for Britain and France, it quickly became a struggle for the defence of liberalism. Featuring a wealth of previously unpublished photographs, 34 in full colour, this in an acclaimed account.

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