By John Keegan
The 1st international conflict created the fashionable international. A clash of unparalleled ferocity, it all at once ended the relative peace and prosperity of the Victorian period, unleashing such demons of the 20th century as mechanized battle and mass demise. It additionally helped to herald the guidelines that experience formed our times--modernism within the arts, new ways to psychology and medication, radical ideas approximately economics and society--and in so doing shattered the religion in rationalism and liberalism that had prevailed in Europe because the Enlightenment. With The First international War, John Keegan, one in all our most outstanding army historians, fulfills a lifelong ambition to jot down the definitive account of the good warfare for our generation.
Probing the secret of the way a civilization on the top of its fulfillment can have propelled itself into this sort of ruinous clash, Keegan takes us behind the curtain of the negotiations between Europe's topped heads (all of them with regards to each other via blood) and ministers, and their doomed efforts to defuse the difficulty. He unearths how, through an dazzling failure of international relations and verbal exchange, a bilateral dispute grew to engulf a whole continent.
But the center of Keegan's awesome narrative is, in fact, his research of the army clash. With unmatched authority and perception, he recreates the nightmarish engagements whose names became legend--Verdun, the Somme and Gallipoli between them--and sheds new gentle at the ideas and strategies hired, quite the contributions of geography and know-how. No much less important to Keegan's account is the human element. He acquaints us with the recommendations of the fascinating personalities who oversaw the tragically pointless catastrophe--from heads of kingdom like Russia's hapless tsar, Nicholas II, to well known warmakers reminiscent of Haig, Hindenburg and Joffre. yet Keegan reserves his so much affecting own sympathy for these whose person efforts heritage has no longer recorded--"the nameless thousands, indistinguishably drab, undifferentially disadvantaged of any scrap of the glories that through culture made the lifetime of the man-at-arms tolerable."
By the top of the warfare, 3 nice empires--the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian and the Ottoman--had collapsed. yet as Keegan indicates, the devastation ex-tended over the whole lot of Europe, and nonetheless profoundly informs the politics and tradition of the continent this present day. His great, panoramic account of this sizeable and poor clash is destined to take its position one of the classics of global history.
With 24 pages of images, 2 endpaper maps, and 15 maps in textual content