Kindle Price: $12.99

Save $7.00 (35%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War by [Emmerson, Charles]
Audible Narration
Playing...
Loading...
Paused
Kindle App Ad

1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$12.99

Length: 546 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible Narration:
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $4.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
Ready

click to open popover

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Writing about “a year of possibility not predestination,” Emmerson surveys a selection of cities around the world as they appeared in 1913. Portraying the European capitals of the next year’s belligerent countries, Emmerson strikes a cosmopolitan tone by noting social interconnections linking London to Paris to Berlin to Constantinople. Diarists and travelers populate his narratives, their descriptions lending eyewitness immediacy to his delineation of streetscapes, new architecture, and political issues. Above all, Emmerson seeks to evoke the economic globalization that affected, in positive and negative ways, all the cities he presents. As 1913 was, in retrospect, the apex of empires, Emmerson dwells on the imperial outlooks from Britain and France and from the empires doomed to destruction in the war ahead, the Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman. Turning from centers of power to cities beginning to boom from their global linkages, Emmerson enunciates the aspirations of outliers like Winnipeg, Melbourne, and Buenos Aires. Including stops in Tehran, Mexico City, Jerusalem, several U.S. cities, Shanghai, and Tokyo, Emmerson’s historical world tour emotively captures the civilization soon to vanish in WWI. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

The Guardian (UK)
“To capture a year of the world in a single snapshot is, of course, impossible, but Emmerson provides a real sense of 1913 by combining details of individual lives with sweeping international trends: one of the great pleasures of this book is to see parallels between then and now."

New York Review of Books
"...Let’s pause at this point, for Charles Emmerson’s book presents a remarkable anatomy of the world in that single year 1913. He casts it in the form of spirited and diverting vignettes, with lively quotations and local color.

Booklist
“Portraying the European capitals of the next year’s belligerent countries, Emmerson strikes a cosmopolitan tone by noting social interconnections linking London to Paris to Berlin to Constantinople.…Including stops in Tehran, Mexico City, Jerusalem, several U.S. cities, Shanghai, and Tokyo, Emmerson’s historical world tour emotively captures the civilization soon to vanish in WWI.”

The Guardian (UK)
1913 has narrative verve and insight”

The Times (UK)
“The old empires were starting to implode and the centres could no longer hold.  In an ambitious book, Emmerson catches their last vital sparks in the year before darkness fell.”

New Statesman (UK)
“One of the great merits of Charles Emmerson’s global panorama is to show events in the months leading up to the summer of 1914 as something other than a precursor to mass slaughter.”

The Independent (UK)
“Emmerson has done his homework. His book girdles the earth in an impressive fashion and conjures up a world we have lost.”

Sunday Business Post (Ireland)
“Emmerson's book is an ambitious effort…But there is so much that captivates, particularly the entertaining social detail and anecdote, such as the fact it took three years to assess JP Morgan's gargantuan estate, which included 138 watches in one of his houses in London.”

The Spectator (UK)
“a masterful, comprehensive portrait of the world at that last moment in its history when Europe was incontrovertibly ‘the centre of the universe’ and, within it, London ‘the centre of the world’…Charles Emmerson’s 1913 brilliantly rescues [history] from the shadow of a war that would toll the end of the Old World and leave its survivors repining the loss of a Golden Age that had never been.”

The Express (UK)
“Where Emmerson really scores is in the nuggets of detail and contemporary quotes that sparkle from these essays.”

The Scotsman
“It is an epic, sprawling panorama of a book, intended to show the moving world as it was, to bring the past to life in order to clarify the present. It’s a monumentally ambitious aim. The remarkable thing is, he pulls it off.”

The Guardian
“An ambitious, subtle account of the way the world was going until the first world war changed everything.” 

Daily Mail (UK)
“This ambitious panorama of a world on the brink throws up comparisons which are constantly provocative and fascinating.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Marvelous… Emmerson, a scholar at Chatham House, a renowned London think tank, brilliantly avoids the inevitability trap in ‘1913.’ His panoramic depiction of the last year before the Great War permits us to see the world ‘as it might have looked through contemporary eyes, in its full colour and complexity, with a sense of the future's openness’…Emmerson is a superb guide and companion, whether inviting us to take a seat next to him in ‘a favourite corner’ of a Viennese cafe or to survey tout Paris from the Eiffel Tower. In many ways, his book works as a ‘time-travelogue’; indeed, it frequently quotes contemporary tourist literature and travelers' accounts.”

Christian Science Monitor
“Emmerson’s project would not be as compelling if he had simply focused on Europe, or on England and her colonies. The Great War was truly a global war, and the world of 1913 was truly a global society. In his book, Emmerson gives fair weight to societies around the world rather than

Product Details

  • File Size: 7037 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (May 7, 2013)
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2013
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C8X1CX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,509 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
British author Charles Emmerson looks at the world of 1913 in his new book, "1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War". This is a big book, almost 500 pages, and does what no other armchair-history book has done so far. Instead of focusing on the main European world - the world that went to war a year later - Emmerson looks at cities and countries world-wide.

The term "The Great War" is, in general, applied to the fighting in Europe - mostly on the Western Front in France and Flanders and the Eastern Front in Russia - but the fighting really was world-wide. Don't forget that the main countries - England, Germany, France, Belgium, and Italy - had colonies and territories around the world. We know that the countries and territories of the British Empire contributed fighting forces to the war effort beginning in 1914. Emmerson takes a look at those countries - concentrating on the selected cities - to show how the years right before contributed to each nation's development. Examining the Empire cities of Durban, Melbourne, Bombay, and Winnipeg in 1913, Emmerson writes of developments in each city that made the countries they were in evolve a bit more into their own national identities.

Emmerson also does a great job in looking at the United States and using Detroit and Los Angeles as examples of how the US economy evolved from agriculturally-based to industrial-based. The influx of immigrants to our country in the late 1800s and early 1900's was changing the face of America as well as how we looked at the world at large. He also includes Tokyo, Peking and Shanghai, and Buenos Aires among the world's cities.

Charles Emmerson has written a masterful look at the world of 1913. The only complaint I have is the lack of maps in the book. I wish the publishers had included some; I consulted Wiki quite a bit while reading. But this is one of the best books of the period I've read.
3 Comments 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Today we view the year 1913 as the final year of peace and prosperity before the horrendous calamity that was World War I, as the last vestige of a bygone era lost forever. In "1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War", Charles Emmerson shows instead a time that was far more cosmopolitan and far more modern, than most would dare to admit; a time when much of Europe and even, the Americas, viewed itself as full partners in a global civilization whose intellectual and cultural roots originated in Western and Central Europe. A time when even the middle class populations of North America and Europe could undertake grand tours that would span across Europe, from London and Paris to Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and even, Constantinople (Istanbul). A global civilization in which the educated elites of India, Africa and East Asia (most notably Japan) viewed themselves as participants, even if they didn't subscribe to all of its cultural values. Divided into four sections, Emmerson shows us the capitals of Europe, from London to Rome and Saint Petersburg (Part I The Centre of the Universe), the most vibrant cities of North America, including New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and Mexico City (Part II The Old New World), other cities that were all too often major outposts of the great empires, from Winnipeg and Melbourne to Bombay and Durban, Algiers, Buenos Aires, Tehran and Jerusalem (Part III The World Beyond) and the state of affairs within the Ottoman, Japanese and British empires, and the newly established Republic of China, as seen from the perspective of their most important cities (Part IV Twilight Powers).Read more ›
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
1913 gives us an album of snapshots from the world of 100 years ago. Emmerson's organization is geographic. He calls it a "circumnavigation". The chapters are titled after the cities of the world, but the book is not confined to urban developments. The focus zooms out to cover broad themes like the relative rise and fall of nations. Then it zooms in, providing biographical sketches; a Los Angeles oil man strikes it rich, an Algerian lawyer fights repressive French policies, and a British domestic struggles with her new life in Argentina.

I have read a good deal of European and American history, but this book gave some very good insights on Africa and Asia. The writing has a broad sweep, and skips back and forth between culture, industrial development, politics, and religion. I agree with the reviewer that called it "meandering" , but I still enjoyed reading it. If you like a book with stronger thematic organization, try "The Proud Tower" by Tuchman or "The Vertigo Years" by Bloom.

Emmerson works under the assumption that a world war was not considered an inevitable event by those who lived in 1913, and leaves it to other historians to address its origins. When war did break out, it began cataclysmic era for Europe, But it is interesting to see how much of the world beyond Europe did not change. Most of the issues in presented 1913 continued to simmer beyond the end of WWI; race relations in South Africa, political and religious strife in Ireland, equality for women, immigration policies, concentration of wealth in the US, tension over Mideast oil supplies. They are still part of our experience a century later.
Comment 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: 1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War