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Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes To War (2013)

by Max Hastings(Favorite Author)
4.06 of 5 Votes: 1
0307597059 (ISBN13: 9780307597052)
review 1: I knew close to nothing about WWI going into this book and I found this to be a great introduction on the precipitating events that lead to the outbreak of war. It was fascinating to read about the convergence of colonial war traditions intersecting with modern, for the time, technology. It was also interesting to learn about the clumsiness of those in charge and mistakes they made. My complaint with the writing is that there are several times where seemingly important phrases are quoted in French, German or another foreign language with no English translation. I started out googling translations but this became cumbersome. I wish the author had provided a translation for these important quotes.
review 2: A highly detailed and totally absorbing account of one o
... moref the most disastrous years in human history. Hastings paints a disturbing picture of the political and human folly that led to and perpetuated the First World War, dispelling many long held myths in the process. Contrary to modern perceptions, the outbreak of war was not greeted by an outpouring of universal nationalistic fervour. Most people seemed to have reacted as you would expect them to when confronted with the advent of global war; palpable fear and uncertainty being the primary emotions. The oft-vaunted, but in fact relatively minor part played by the British Expeditionary Force in contesting the German advance into Belgium and France is starkly contrasted with the massive sacrifice made by their French allies. The vacillating and rarely competent cadre of British generals also comes in for considerable criticism as does the blind arrogance of the Austrian and German royal houses. Overall this is the story of people, politicians, soldiers and civilians alike, who had no idea what they were getting themselves into and, as the succeeding four years of slaughter would demonstrate, no notion of how to get out of it either. less
Reviews (see all)
Definitely the last WWI book I am reading this year...until the next one...
great books, enjoyed but in parts was like a history lesson.
very good insight into the start of the great war
Finally done!!
Well done.
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