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The Cambridge History of the First World War

Volume 1. Global War


Part of The Cambridge History of the First World War

Jay Winter, Volker Berghahn, Jean-Jacques Becker, Gerd Krumeich, Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau, Robin Prior, Michael Neiberg, Christoph Mick, Bruno Cabanes, Holger Afflerbach, Nicola Labanca, Paul Kennedy, John Morrow, Gary Sheffield, Steve Badsey, John Horne, Bill Nasson, Mustafa Aksakal, Guoqi Xu, Jennifer Keene, Olivier Compagnon, Annette Becker, Annie Deperchin, Hans-Lukas Kieser, Donald Bloxham
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  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521763851
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About the Authors
  • This first volume of The Cambridge History of the First World War provides a comprehensive account of the war's military history. An international team of leading historians charts how a war made possible by globalization and imperial expansion unfolded into catastrophe, growing year by year in scale and destructive power far beyond that which anyone had anticipated in 1914. Adopting a global perspective, the volume analyses the spatial impact of the war and the subsequent ripple effects that occurred both regionally and across the world. It explores how imperial powers devoted vast reserves of manpower and material to their war efforts and how, by doing so, they changed the political landscape of the world order. It also charts the moral, political and legal implications of the changing character of war and, in particular, the collapse of the distinction between civilian and military targets.

    • The first comprehensive, global military history of the First World War
    • Traces the course of the war and its impact right across the globe, rather than simply focussing on the Western Front
    • Integrates the waging of war, logistics and strategy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… both scholarly and deftly drafted, a joy to read. It provides broad as well as deep analysis of just about every conceivable facet of this global catastrophe. It deserves close reading and contemplation.' Len Shurtleff, World War One Historical Association

    Customer reviews


    Much has been written about the Great War, and with the centenary of the conflict upon us, the bookshops are awash with new volumes on a myriad of subjects concerning the war. The choice for readers is bewildering. With Volume 1 - Global War of their history of The First World War, Cambridge University Press presents a fresh approach to relating the campaigns and associated issues of that great catastrophe. This is not merely a recounting of endless battles and campaigns - it covers a broader canvas with new perspectives delivered by a cast of well known and respected academic historians presenting their own considerations on the subjects they cover. The quality of their essays and the scope of the book makes this a valuable contribution to the historiography of the war. While it will not appeal to those attracted with the detail of battles and personal accounts of combatants, it will be welcomed by those who are interested in understanding the nature of the war on all fronts, and its wider global implications. Indeed, it could be considered four books in one, and the approach taken is a refreshing one that adds enormously to our understanding not only of the campaigns, but just as importantly to its world wide impacts. One can dip into this volume and look at the war from different angles. The usual narrative approach is presented in Part I - A Narrative History - with chapters covering the origins, each year of the war across all the theatres it was fought in, and the aftermath of this terrible bloodletting, each written by specialists in the events they cover. Through them one gains a good overview of the major military and naval events without becoming bogged down in detail. All are excellent, presenting a series of sound and balanced overviews year by year of the climactic events that changed the world forever, although one feels that in 1916: Stalemate the author allows his prejudices to peep through. Of particular interest is Bruno Cabanes’s 1919: Aftermath chapter, in which he takes a refreshing look at the Treaty of Versailles, being in his opinion a compromise treaty rather than a victor’s, and the impact of the war and the transitions that followed. Part II - Theatres of War - considers the same ground from a different perspective, covering an analysis of the main theatres of the war in Europe and the Middle East, in the air, and on the sea. Most are sound essays dealing with the peculiarities and approaches taken on each front, bringing home that they were different, had their own challenges and not all reflected the stereotype so often portrayed by the Western Front. Unfortunately, Robin Prior’s discussion of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli contains glaring errors of fact, which calls into question his depth of research on the Ottoman theatre, which is in contrast to his excellent chapter analysing the Western Front. Curiously there is nothing on the African theatre perhaps there is not enough in these campaigns to warrant a separate chapter. Rounding out this part is an excellent essay on Strategic Command by Gary Sheffield and Stephan Badsey, highlighting in a very balanced approach the diversity of military strategic command problems across the countries involved and the theatres of war. Part III - World War - takes us through a new prism in looking at the war. The main chapters provide an insight into regions not usually addressed in studies of the war, dealing principally with Africa, the Ottoman Empire, Asia, North America, and Latin America. Europe is briefly considered in a section of the leading chapter - The Imperial Framework. Unlike the initial two parts of the book, this is not concerned with campaigns, but provides the reader with an insight into the character and attitudes of the countries in these regions, together with the problems, influences and issues confronting them, and their contribution to or effect of the war on them. All make interesting and rarely presented reading, adding a new dimension to considerations of the war in the world at large, and amongst many of the non-combatant countries far from Europe. They are essays that contrast a largely European view of the war, and remind us that world war has an impact on non-combatant countries. The final and shortest part of this volume - Rules of Engagement, Laws of War and War Crimes - takes the reader onto controversial ground. In three fine, thought provoking chapters covering atrocities and war crimes, genocide and the laws of war, the reader is confronted with the uncomfortable subjects of war, forcing us to recognise that the horror of it all is not confined to the battlefield, and its scythe of bloodshed also sweeps up the innocent. Oddly out of place in Part IV, but nonetheless interesting and useful, is Jay Winter’s slim, and concluding chapter concerning the impact of photography on our view of the war, and the way in which they open up a new window in educating us through the stark realism of its myriad faces. This is a fine book covering a wide scope. Not only are readers presented with erudite and compelling essays on the campaigns and theatres of war, they are taken into areas that receive little attention in the vast literature of this war. In doing so this Volume earns its well deserved title of Global War.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521763851
    • length: 771 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 163 x 42 mm
    • weight: 1.4kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 64 colour illus. 30 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction to Volume 1 Jay Winter
    Part I. A Narrative History: Introduction to Part I Jay Winter
    1. Origins Volker Berghahn
    2. 1914: outbreak Jean-Jacques Becker and Gerd Krumeich
    3. 1915: stalemate Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau
    4. Total war Robin Prior
    5. 1917: global war Michael Neiberg
    6. 1918: endgame Christoph Mick
    7. 1919: aftermath Bruno Cabanes
    Part II. Theatres of War: Introduction to Part II Robin Prior
    8. The Western Front Robin Prior
    9. The Eastern Front Holger Afflerbach
    10. The Italian Front Nicola Labanca
    11. The Ottoman Front Robin Prior
    12. The war at sea Paul Kennedy
    13. The air war John Morrow
    14. Command and strategy Gary Sheffield and Steve Badsey
    Part III. World War: Introduction to Part III Jay Winter and John Horne
    15. The imperial framework John Morrow
    16. Africa Bill Nasson
    17. The Ottoman Empire Mustafa Aksakal
    18. Asia Guoqi Xu
    19. North America Jennifer Keene
    20. Latin America Olivier Compagnon
    Part IV. Rules of Engagement, Laws of War and War Crimes: Introduction to Part IV Annette Becker and Annie Deperchin
    21. Atrocities and war crimes John Horne
    22. Genocide Hans-Lukas Kieser and Donald Bloxham
    23. The laws of war Annie Deperchin
    24. Visual essay: global war Jay Winter.

  • Editor

    Jay Winter, Yale University, Connecticut
    Jay Winter is Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University, Connecticut. He came to Yale from the University of Cambridge, where he took his doctorate and where he taught history from 1979 to 2001 and was a Fellow of Pembroke College. He is the author of Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (1995); Remembering War (2006) and Dreams of Peace and Freedom (2006). In 1997, he received an Emmy award for the best documentary series of the year as co-producer and co-writer of 'The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century', an eight-hour series broadcast on PBS and the BBC, and shown subsequently in 28 countries. He is one of the founders of the Historial de la grande guerre, the international museum of the Great War, in Péronne, Somme, France. His biography of René Cassin, written with Antoine Prost and published in French in 2011, was published in an English edition by Cambridge University Press in 2013.


    Jay Winter, Volker Berghahn, Jean-Jacques Becker, Gerd Krumeich, Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau, Robin Prior, Michael Neiberg, Christoph Mick, Bruno Cabanes, Holger Afflerbach, Nicola Labanca, Paul Kennedy, John Morrow, Gary Sheffield, Steve Badsey, John Horne, Bill Nasson, Mustafa Aksakal, Guoqi Xu, Jennifer Keene, Olivier Compagnon, Annette Becker, Annie Deperchin, Hans-Lukas Kieser, Donald Bloxham

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