By the time the First World War ended in 1918, eight million people had died in what had been perhaps the most apocalyptic episode the world had known. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise and insightful history of the 'Great War', focusing on why it happened, how it was fought, and why it had the consequences it did.
It examines the state of Europe in 1914 and the outbreak of war; the onset of attrition and crisis; the role of the US; the collapse of Russia; and the weakening and eventual surrender of the Central Powers. Looking at the historical controversies surrounding the causes and conduct of war, Michael Howard also describes how peace was ultimately made, and the potent legacy of resentment left to Germany.
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Sir Michael Howard CH is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at both Oxford and Yale Universities. His many books include The Causes of Wars, War in European History, The Lessons of History, The Invention of Peace, The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century (edited with W. R. Louis), War and the Liberal Conscience, The Franco-Prussian War (Duff Cooper Memorial Prize) and Grand Strategy, vol. iv in The UK Official History of the Second World War.
1. Europe in 1914 ; 2. The Coming of War ; 3. 1914: The Opening Campaigns ; 4. 1915: The War Continues ; 5. 1916: The War of Attrition ; 6. The United States Enters the War ; 7. 1917: The Year of Crisis ; 8. 1918: The Year of Decision ; 9. The Settlement ; Appendix I: President Wilson's Fourteen Points ; Appendix II: Total War Casualties ; Further Reading