The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West

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9780143112396: The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West

Astonishing in its scope and erudition, this is the magnum opus that Niall Ferguson's numerous acclaimed works have been leading up to. In it, he grapples with perhaps the most challenging questions of modern history: Why was the twentieth century history's bloodiest by far? Why did unprecedented material progress go hand in hand with total war and genocide? His quest for new answers takes him from the walls of Nanjing to the bloody beaches of Normandy, from the economics of ethnic cleansing to the politics of imperial decline and fall. The result, as brilliantly written as it is vital, is a great historian's masterwork.

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This is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, first published by H.G. Wells in 1898. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator tells readers that "No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's..."

Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth's comparatively heavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature as death machines 100-feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste to the surrounding land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countryside to the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as England's military suffers defeat after defeat. With horror his narrator describes how the Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance, and how it's clear that man is not being conquered so much a corralled. --Craig E. Engler

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Book Description Penguin Books, New York, 2006. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Paperback Edition. First printing. "Ferguson's eight-hundred-page reevaluation of the Second World War presents itself as a grand theory about ethnic conflict, the end of empire, and the postwar triumph of the East." [from the New Yorker] Includes numerous black and white illustrations, maps, graphs, bibliographical references, and index. Bookseller Inventory # 4628

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Book Description Penguin Publishing Group, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 215 x 138 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A study that serves as the basis for the upcoming PBS series seeks to establish a connection between industrial and technological progress and violence in the modern era, arguing that the twentieth century has been the most violent period in history in spite of unprecedented achievements. By the author of Colossus. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143112396

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