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The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War ILL Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0192893253
ISBN-10: 0192893254
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From Library Journal

Strachan (modern history, Univ. of Glasgow; The Politics of the British Army, Oxford Univ., 1997), most familiar from his work in the London Times, has collected a remarkable series of essays on a variety of issues raised by the Great War. Although the essays are often difficult to read without a deep understanding of the period, they illuminate complex and often misunderstood territory. Gail Braybon's take on women's roles enormously complicates the idea of women as a monolithic class. Strachan's economic approach to mobilization and B.J. McKercher's discussion of economic warfare considerably expand and complement the more familiar tactical and strategic summaries. Many of the essayists take care to place the greatest event of that generation in the context of future events, both in the tactical and in the larger social sphere. Highly recommended for most libraries.AEdwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Illustrated Histories
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; ILL edition (February 22, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192893254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192893253
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John G. Hilliard on July 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Let me add a disclaimer to this review, I am only moderately interested in the First World War and was hoping to get an easy to read and complete history of the conflict to aid my understanding. I thought this would be a good book to accomplish this task and cover the basics. What I found was that I had made a mistake. The book is a collection of essays written by some very competent and well thought of British historians. It appeared to me that each of them was very familiar with the topic chosen and the essays really were good, well thought out and written documents. The issue I had is that I was looking for more of a overview of the war, these essays left a lot of the basic information out, thus many times I felt that I was not getting the full story or even that I was lost.
I also have a hang up with books that are written in this method - a different author does each chapter. I tend to be bothered by the different writing styles and sometimes not complete follow through of the subject / topic. With these statements made, the book is a well-written document on the war. The illustrations are very interesting and bring a good deal of life to the topic. The editor places the pictures and illustrations though out the book. I found the chapters on the Eastern / Western fronts and the entry of the American's to be the most interesting.
So if you are like me with a marginal interest in the war and are looking for a well-written overview this is not the book for you. But if you are a WW 1 history buff then you will probably get a lot of enjoyment out of this book and you should disregard my review.
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Format: Hardcover
The essays dealing with economics were excellent. The writers pointed out that the US was holding much of the allies' treasury bills, especially England's; in fact, the Federal Reserve Board warned US banks in 1918 of holding too many of the Allies' securites. The discussion on the peace negotiations and treaties was also excellent, pointing out the problem was not placing harsh terms on the Germans, but not enforcing the treaty. The writers also correctly linked both World Wars together into a 30 year war, and pointed out that Germany never accepted that it had lost the War. I also agreed with the book's premise that the US retreating into isolationism was the first domino sending the world to the 2nd world war. They logically portrayed how the belligerents' ending positioned set up World War II.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I was hoping for more of a overview of WWI. I've read a lot about WWII and always have found it useful to read something general first, then identify the elements you found really intersting and go buy a focused book on those aspects.

This is not really a beginers overview at all. It is a collection of writings by some apparantly well qualified scholars. Some parts are still very interesting from a beginers point of view, but the fact that it isn't really chronological is a little annoying. There is a chapter on the Central Powers strategy, a chapter on the war on the western front, a chapter on the effect on women, a chapter on the economic impact of the war, etc.

I think it is probably a really good book, it is just a tad advanced for a beginner like me. I probably should have paid more attention before buying it.

One other minor complaint is that that although the book has a ton of pictures (which is good), the captions are not great. For example, there will be a picture of 8 people standing there and the caption will tell you that one is an Italian general, who is talking to his king, but it won't tell you who is who (e.g. the King is the 3rd from the left). You just kinda have to guess who is who based on how old/important they look.
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Format: Hardcover
A century later we tend to think of World War I in terms of the Western Front and trench warfare. The Western Front was, indeed, four years of blood, mud, and mass insanity that in and of itself would have put the lie to the notion that the West was engaged in an ever progressive march to a better and more civilized world, even without the more murderous and insane Second World War. But the Great War was more than the Western Front and the trenches. As this book helps one appreciate, it was "an extraordinarily diverse and multifaceted combat".

WORLD WAR I: A HISTORY is a compilation of articles by academic historians on different topics relating to World War I. It was first published in 1998 as a synthesizing summary of the then-current historical thought concerning each of the topics. The pieces, which average about thirteen pages in length, are rather general in nature although not so much so that they are rendered superficial. I doubt that at this level of generality the historical consensus has changed much in the past sixteen years, such that if the articles were written now they would be significantly different. There are no footnotes, but at the end of the volume there is a rather extensive list of "Further Reading". By and large, the writing is not overly academic, and, somewhat surprisingly, the style of the twenty-three authors does not vary markedly from piece to piece. As published by Oxford University Press, the hard-cover edition is a handsome and sturdy volume, and it contains dozens of photographs and illustrations, including over twenty color plates. (It was re-issued in 2001 in paperback, entitled "The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War".)

It might be helpful to provide a list of the twenty-three articles.
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