At the dawn of the information age, the First World War produced blizzards of information, contained in countless official reports. Almost anything you can think of was recorded, from how many prisoners were taken in a given battle to the number of troops in each age group who contracted a venereal disease. Yet this variety of data is indispensible for understanding how Europe became locked in a devastating stalemate for four long years, and how the Central Powers were finally defeated, only four months after they seemed on the verge of victory.
The number of countries involved, the scale of the military and the civilian involvement and the all-consuming nature of this new, mechanised `total war' make it almost impossible for traditional narrative history to interpret its many aspects in depth. The World War I Fact Book gives the reader access to the most important and revealing information available, using a variety of graphic tools to illustrate the raw data, for a uniquely concise and informative account of the `war to end all wars'.
Wiliam Van der Kloot is a Distinguished Professor of Physiology and Biophysics emeritus. Between 1945-6 he was in the US Navy. He was educated at Harvard, the University of Chicago and Jesus College Cambridge. He then went on to teach at Harvard, Cornell, New York University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has previously published a book on the history of science and scientific work during the Great War.