Now more than ever, a clear historical understanding of the conflicts that have engulfed the world is essential. In The First World War , one of the most respected historians of his generation offers a brief but hugely readable narrative account of WWI, its causes and consequences, and the many historical controversies surrounding the origin and conduct of the war.
Karl von Clausewitz wrote that war is a trinity composed of the policy of the government, the activities of the military, and the passions of the people. Michael Howard argues that "each of these must be taken into account if we are to understand both why the war happened and why it took the course it did." In nine brisk chapters, Howard lays out the historical situation in Europe in 1914, the dispositions of the major belligerents prior to the war, the causes of war, the major campaigns, the entrance of the United States, the crisis, victory, and settlement of the war. Along the way, he offers compelling insights into the political motivations, military actions, and the "passions of the people" that contributed most strongly to the outcome of the war.
There is no other short history of WWI on the market today written by a historian of Michael Howard's stature. For anyone wishing to gain a quick but authoritative understanding of one of the most crucial events of the twentieth century, The First World War is the best place to begin.
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Oxford University Press, Incorporated
May 19, 2007
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