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World War I

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A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
by David Fromkin Details
In A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin reveals how and why the Allies drew lines on an empty map that remade the geography and politics of the Middle East. Focusing on the formative years of 1914 to 1922, when all seemed possible, he delivers in this sweeping and magisterial book the definitive account of this defining time, showing how the choices narrowed and the Middle East began along a road that led to the conflicts and confusion that continue to this day.
Catastrophe 1914: Europe goes to war
by Max Hastings Details
A history of the outbreak of World War I, from the breakdown of diplomacy to the dramatic battles that occurred before the war bogged down in the trenches.
Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I
by Michael S. Neiberg Details
Neiberg marshals letters, diaries, and memoirs of ordinary citizens across Europe to show that the onset of war was experienced as a sudden, unexpected event. As they watched a minor diplomatic crisis erupt into a continental bloodbath, they expressed shock, revulsion, and fear. But when bargains between belligerent governments began to crumble under the weight of conflict, public disillusionment soon followed. Yet it was only after the fighting acquired its own horrible momentum that national hatreds emerged under the pressure of mutually escalating threats, wartime atrocities, and intense government propaganda.
Guns of August
by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman Details
Incorporating a captivating literary narrative, Barbara Wertheim Tuchman, a self-trained historian, details the events leading up to as well as the first thirty days of World War One.
July 1914: Countdown to War
by Sean McMeekin Details
When a Serbian-backed assassin gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June 1914, the world seemed unmoved. Even Ferdinand's own uncle, Franz Josef I, was notably ambivalent about the death of the Hapsburg heir, saying simply, "It is God's will." Certainly, there was nothing to suggest that the episode would lead to conflict much less a world war of such massive and horrific proportions that it would fundamentally reshape the course of human events. As the author, a historian reveals in July 1914, World War I might have been avoided entirely had it not been for a small group of statesmen who, in the month after the assassination, plotted to use Ferdinand's murder as the trigger for a long-awaited showdown in Europe. The primary culprits, moreover, have long escaped blame. While most accounts of the war's outbreak place the bulk of responsibility on German and Austro-Hungarian militarism, the author draws on new evidence from archives across Europe to show that the worst offenders were actually to be found in Russia and France, whose belligerence and duplicity ensured that war was inevitable. Whether they plotted for war or rode the whirlwind nearly blind, each of the men involved, from Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold von Berchtold and German Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov and French president Raymond Poincare sought to capitalize on the fallout from Ferdinand's murder, unwittingly leading Europe toward the greatest cataclysm it had ever seen. A revolutionary account of the genesis of World War I, this book tells the story of Europe's countdown to war from the bloody opening act on June 28th to Britain's final plunge on August 4th, showing how a single month, and a handful of men changed the course of the twentieth-century.
Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce
by Stanley Weintraub Details
This "moving story of horror taking a holiday" (People) vividly recounts one of history's most powerful Christmas stories. Using the stories of the men who were there, Weintraub illuminates this extraordinary moment in time.
The First World War
by John Keegan Details
The First World War created the modern world. A conflict of unprecedented ferocity, it abruptly ended the relative peace and prosperity of the Victorian era, unleashing such demons of the twentieth century as mechanized warfare and mass death. It also helped to usher in the ideas that have shaped our times--modernism in the arts, new approaches to psychology and medicine, radical thoughts about economics and society--and in so doing shattered the faith in rationalism and liberalism that had prevailed in Europe since the Enlightenment. With The First World War, John Keegan, one of our most eminent military historians, fulfills a lifelong ambition to write the definitive account of the Great War for our generation. Probing the mystery of how a civilization at the height of its achievement could have propelled itself into such a ruinous conflict, Keegan takes us behind the scenes of the negotiations among Europe's crowned heads (all of them related to one another by blood) and ministers, and their doomed efforts to defuse the crisis. He reveals how, by an astonishing failure of diplomacy and communication, a bilateral dispute grew to engulf an entire continent. But the heart of Keegan's superb narrative is, of course, his analysis of the military conflict. With unequalled authority and insight, he recreates the nightmarish engagements whose names have become legend--Verdun, the Somme and Gallipoli among them--and sheds new light on the strategies and tactics employed, particularly the contributions of geography and technology. No less central to Keegan's account is the human aspect. He acquaints us with the thoughts of the intriguing personalities who oversaw the tragically unnecessary catastrophe--from heads of state like Russia's hapless tsar, Nicholas II, to renowned warmakers such as Haig, Hindenburg and Joffre. But Keegan reserves his most affecting personal sympathy for those whose individual efforts history has not recorded--"the anonymous millions, indistinguishably drab, undifferentially deprived of any scrap of the glories that by tradition made the life of the man-at-arms tolerable." By the end of the war, three great empires--the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian and the Ottoman--had collapsed. But as Keegan shows, the devastation ex-tended over the entirety of Europe, and still profoundly informs the politics and culture of the continent today. His brilliant, panoramic account of this vast and terrible conflict is destined to take its place among the classics of world history.
The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
by Richard Rubin Details
In 2003, 85 years after the armistice, Rubin managed to find dozens of American veterans of World War I, aged 101 to 113, and interview them. All are gone now. They were the final survivors of the millions who made up the American Expeditionary Forces. Self-reliant, humble, and stoic, they kept their stories to themselves for a lifetime, then shared them at the last possible moment, so that they, and the World War they won, might at last be remembered.
The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century
by David Reynolds Details
One of the most violent conflicts in the history of civilization, World War I has been strangely forgotten in American culture. It has become a ghostly war fought in a haze of memory, often seen merely as a distant preamble to World War II. In The Long Shadow critically acclaimed historian David Reynolds seeks to broaden our vision by assessing the impact of the Great War across the twentieth century.
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
by Christopher M. Clark Details
An authoritative chronicle, drawing on new research on World War I, traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute narrative that examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914.
The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
by Margaret MacMillan Details
Presents a narrative portrait of Europe in the years leading up to World War I that illuminates the political, cultural, and economic factors and contributing personalities that shaped major events.
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
by Adam Hochschild Details
World War I stands as one of history's most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In his riveting narrative, Hochschild brings it to life as never before while focusing on the long-ignored moral drama of the war's critics, alongside its generals and heroes.
Updated 07/12/2014
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