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"One volume history of the war?" Topic

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624 hits since 22 Jan 2013
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vtsaogames22 Jan 2013 5:37 p.m. PST

I have Keegan's but have become less impressed with much of his work over time. My book shelves are packed tight. What do you gents suggest as the single volume history of the Great War that I should have?

sargonII22 Jan 2013 6:46 p.m. PST

The Real War by Lidell Heart
I have realy enjoyed reading this book. It has a little of everything, It is not detailed though, but in a one volume treatment that is what you get.
God Bless You

Tricorne197122 Jan 2013 10:50 p.m. PST

B. Liddell-Hart is ok, but very dated.
I have about 160 volumes on WW1, so I find it difficult to reccomend one comprehensive treatment.
Try Martin Gilbert, The First World War 1994; or, Hew Strachan, The First War 2004 (a one volume compilation of a multi-volume set).

As an aside, the librarian of the fantastic national WW1 Museum in Kansas City is a wargamer. An excellent resource.

Natholeon22 Jan 2013 11:05 p.m. PST

I second Strachan's the First World War as a good option.
The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War is pretty good – edited by Strachan with lots of top notch historians contributing the chapters.
I'd avoid Liddell-Hart myself if you want something with good scholarship.

Personal logo toofatlardies Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jan 2013 3:23 a.m. PST

Liddell-Hart is a self-serving self-publicist. Kegan's views are also somewhat outdated now. For a cheap and cheerful fast read on the war in France and Belgium I would reccomend Richard Holme's The Western Front. It is a small volume, but it takes a fairly balanced view of the history as now interpretted without being entirely in the recent revisionist camp.

Of course it doesn't cover other side shows so may not be the one you seek.


Martin Rapier24 Jan 2013 3:55 a.m. PST

A third for Strachan if you don't like John Keegan.

The definitive single volume source back in the day used to be CRMF Cruttwells 'The Gerat War 1914-18'. An interesting period piece.

coopman24 Jan 2013 12:34 p.m. PST

I read a book on WWI by John Terraine a while back & really enjoyed it. I don't remember the title of it right now for sure, but I believe that it was "The Great War".

coopman24 Jan 2013 6:18 p.m. PST

Just checked the book mentioned in my prev. post & I was correct about the title.

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