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Max Hastings
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Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War
 
 
Author
Max Hastings.
Publisher Vintage  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780307743831
Pages/Publication Date 628/2014
Daedalus Item Code 49336
List Price: $17.95
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(A New York Times Notable Book of 2013 and a Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013) The standard image of World War I is muddy trenches and blasted fields, where millions of lives were wasted in grinding battles with no real gain. Yet the first months of the war were of a very different character, and far more costly, notes Max Hastings, echoing Winston Churchill: "No part of the Great War compares in interest with its opening.... Nor was there any other period in the War when the general battle was waged on so great a scale, when the slaughter was so swift or the stakes so high." Hastings—also the author of Inferno—punctures many myths that have grown up around the war, and in examining the various combatants' goals is able to convincingly place the blame where it belongs.

"His position as Britain's leading military historian is now unassailable.... This is a magnificent and deeply moving book, and with Max Hastings as our guide we are in the hands of a master."—Telegraph (London)

"The first five months ... have never been told with quite this much drama, sensitivity and poignant detail.... At a breathtaking pace, the reader is transported to battles in Belgium, France, Serbia, Poland and Prussia.... Hastings's book is the perfect example of what a good journalist can add to the study of war."—Washington Post

"Does the world need another book on that dismal year? Absolutely, if it's by Hastings.... Readers accustomed to Hastings' vivid battle descriptions, incisive anecdotes from all participants, and shrewd, often unsettling opinions will not be disappointed. Among the plethora of brilliant accounts of this period, this is one of the best."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 
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