Keegan, John The First World War

ISBN 13: 9780091801786

The First World War

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9780091801786: The First World War

The battles on land, sea and in the air form the narrative heart of this World War I study, along with new interpretations of the military events and insights into the way the modern world was shaped by what happened between 1914 and 1918.

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Review:

Despite the avalanche of books written about the First World War in recent years, there have been comparatively few books that deliver a comprehensive account of the war and its campaigns from start to finish. The First World War fills the gap superbly. As readers familiar with Keegan's previous books (including The Second World War and Six Armies in Normandy) know, he's a historian of the old school. He has no earth-shattering new theories to challenge the status quo, no first-person accounts to tug on the emotions--what he does have, though, is a gift for talking the lay person through the twists and turns of a complex narrative in a way that is never less than accessible or engaging.

Keegan never tries to ram his learning down your throat. Where other authors have struggled to explain how Britain could ever allow itself to be dragged into such a war in 1914, Keegan keeps his account practical. The level of communications that we enjoy today just didn't exist then, and so it was much harder to keep track of what was going on. By the time a message had finally reached the person in question, the situation may have changed out of all recognition. Keegan applies this same "cock-up" theory of history to the rest of the war, principally the three great disasters at Gallipoli, the Somme, and Passchendaele. The generals didn't send all those troops to their deaths deliberately, Keegan argues; they did it out of incompetence and ineptitude, and because they had no idea of what was actually going on at the front.

While The First World War is not afraid to point the finger at those generals who deserve it, even Keegan has to admit he doesn't have all the answers. If it all seems so obviously futile and such a massive waste of life now, he asks, how could it have seemed worthwhile back then? Why did so many people carry on, knowing they would die? Why, indeed. --John Crace, Amazon.co.uk

From the Inside Flap:

From John Keegan, the premier military historian of our time: a stunningly illustrated volume incorporating an abridged text of his best-selling, The First World War.

Now Keegan has gathered together 400 photographs, maps, and other illustrations that allow us to see what his text so brilliantly describes: the startling ferocity of the conflict; the hellish nature of the trenches; the legendary battles of Flanders, the Somme, Verdun, Gallipoli, and their aftermaths; the tanks, submarines, and airplanes new to the battlefield; the faces of the statesmen who made the war and the soldiers who fought it. Together, text and illustrations give us the most comprehensive and illuminating history we have of the First World War, the progenitor of all 20th-century warfare.

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Keegan, John
Published by Hutchinson, London (1998)
ISBN 10: 0091801788 ISBN 13: 9780091801786
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Hutchinson, London, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Despite the avalanche of books written about the First World War in recent years, there have been comparatively few books that have concentrated on delivering the big picture--a comprehensive account of the war and its campaigns from start to finish--and this book fills the gap superbly. As readers familiar with John Keegan's previous books, such as the The Face Battle, Six Armies in Normandy, and The Second World War, will know, Keegan is a historian of the old school. He has no earth-shattering new theories to challenge the status quo, no first-person accounts to tug on the emotions; what he does have, though, is the gift for talking the lay person through the twists and turns of a complex narrative in a way that is never less than accessible or engaging. Keegan never tries to ram his learning down your throat. Where other authors have struggled to explain how Britain could ever allow itself to be dragged into such a war in 1914, Keegan keeps it practical. The level of communications that we enjoy today just didn't exist then, and so it was much harder to keep track of what was going on. By the time a message had finally reached the person in question, the situation may have changed out of all recognition. Keegan applies this same "cock-up" theory of history to the rest of the war, principally the three great disasters at Gallipoli, the Somme, and Passchendaele. The generals didn't send all those troops to their death deliberately; they did so out of incompetence, ineptitude, and because they had no idea of what was actually going on at the front. Whether deliberate or not, though, the end result was nearly one million dead British and Commonwealth soldiers. The First World War is not afraid to point the finger at those generals who deserve it, but even Keegan has to admit he doesn't have all the answers. If it all seems so obviously futile and such a massive waste of life now, he asks, how could it have seemed worthwhile back then? Why did so many people carry on, knowing they would die? Why indeed. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 040401

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Keegan, John
Published by Hutchinson (1998)
ISBN 10: 0091801788 ISBN 13: 9780091801786
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110091801788

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Keegan, John
Published by Hutchinson (1998)
ISBN 10: 0091801788 ISBN 13: 9780091801786
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0091801788

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