Top positive review
Martin Gilbert's "The First World War" provides readers with a good understanding of World War I and why it happened.
July 21, 2018
The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, also known as “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars.” It was one of the bloodiest and most violent wars in human history, and any understanding of our war-torn world since 1918 begins with an understanding of it – why it began, how it was fought, and what effect it has had on humanity since it ended.
One of the best books I’ve read about World War I is "The First World War: The Complete History” by Martin Gilbert. First published in 1994, this book provides a comprehensive look at the Great War from its beginning in 1914 until its end four years later. I think it is a superb work of history.
Martin Gilbert (1936-2015), a British historian and biographer is probably best known for his multi-volume official biography of Sir Winston Churchill. However, he also wrote many other excellent works of history, including “The Holocaust,” “The First World War,” and “The Second World War.” In all his works, Gilbert provides readers with a smooth, easy, and highly readable style.
In “The First World War,” Gilbert provides wide-ranging coverage of nearly every front in this genuinely world-wide war. Most people today associate World War I with mud-caked soldiers bleeding in the trenches of the western front in France; however, there were many other fronts as well. Gilbert takes readers to eastern Europe, along the border between Germany and Russia, where there were scenes of savage combat. In the Balkans, a bitter war raged between Austria, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), and Bulgaria on one side, and Serbia, Italy, Greece, and Britain on the other. At Gallipoli, Gilbert describes Britain’s failed attempt to break the stalemate on the western by attacking the Central Powers in the east. And back on the western front, he takes his readers into a starkly barren, cratered "no-man's land," where poison gas, colossal artillery bombardments, and massed infantry assaults were the order of each day.
In every respect, “The First World War: The Complete History” is an outstanding book that will provide readers with a greater understanding of the causes, effects, and events World War I. Highly recommended.