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The First World War: An Illustrated History
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The First World War: An Illustrated History

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  281 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
A. J. P. Taylor was one of the most acclaimed and uncompromising historians of the twentieth century. In this clear, lively and now-classic account of the First World War, he tells the story of the conflict from the German advance in the West, through the Marne, Gallipoli, the Balkans and the War at Sea to the offensives of 1918 and the state of Europe after the war. Conta ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Penguin UK (first published 1963)
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At the end of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, Troilus ascending towards Heaven looks back on his earthly passion with disdain, and the difference that a change in perspective can make was something that very much struck me about A.J.P. Taylor's attitude towards the First World War as my impression was that Taylor was looking at the war as a whole, taking into account the social, political and personal structures. For example some stress recently has been laid upon the idea of the difficulties th ...more
Dan Cohen
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Not a bad book, but I was expecting something more gripping from the author of "War by timetable". The photos are interesting but I didn't feel there was much in the collection that really caught my eye, except for a splendid picture of President Wilson with a daft expression on his face.

The text is well written and it covers the war from causes to effects in an even spread, although it cannot be more than a quick flick through events given how short the text is. I did find both the text and, mo
Mar 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, history, own, wwi
This work of Taylor canont be recommended a an entry point to understand the first world war. Though the major events and theaters are covered, they fail to leave a lasting impression or make one realize the significance of the event. Contrary to my expectations, the illustrations too fell short and were not arresting enough to convey the 'stories' behind the pictures. Nevertheless, it was refreshing as a breezy read.

K.M. Weiland
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intelligent, in-depth, comprehensible guide to the war.
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good, easily digestible outline of WWI. Not a lot of detail, but just to get a basic understanding of events.
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At a time when there remain no living protagonists to offer first hand account, the First World War centenary years of 2014 to 2018 are destined to provide numerous reminders and analyses of the course of the conflict. This absence of first hand recollection may now allow us to view of these events more dispassionately, through a non-distorting historical lens that lets us sift through detail to identify salient points, even learn lessons. On the other hand, it might just enable us to ignore or ...more
Nat Kidder
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Look at a map of Europe and the Middle East in 1913 and it will appear very different from today. Look at one in 1919 and it will appear very similar. That was the First World War, the most consequential (if not the bloodiest) conflict since Napoleon.

Oxford scholar Taylor's chronology is highly readable with considerable insights. (My favorite: who, more than anyone else, started the fighting? Clue: He was dead when the fighting started.)

Taylor presumes the reader knows something about that per
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Järkeenkäypää historian tulkintaa; sekavaa ja kaoottista sähläystä, jossa ei ole hyviä eikä pahoja - sankareita, yleviä taikka syvällisiä älykköjä todella harvassa. Kirjakauppojen hyllyt notkuvat toista maailmansotaa käsitteleviä kirjoja, joita ei voi ymmärtää ilman ensimmäistä maailmansotaa. WWI:stä kirjoja taas et juuri hyllyiltä löydä.

Lue ja ymmärrät myös Lähi-idän ja Itä-Euroopan historiaa paremmin. Etenkin brittien lehmänkaupat maa-alueilla liittolaisten toivossa ovat vaikuttaneet tai suora
May 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
A.J.P. Taylor's overview of the First World War was first published in 1963 and thus it has been surpassed by a half century of scholarship on the causes and consequences of the world's first massive industrialized conflict.

This book has a couple strengths. Taylor's prose is direct and brisk; he doesn't seem to believe in conjunctions. He offers an interpretation of the events of 1914 that has not been entirely discredited. The more than 200 black and white illustrations complement the text. Som
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book " the First World War" is an awesome book it teaches you about the first World War. This book also tells you about the many great battles that happened in the first World. The book also tells you about the battle tactics that the Allied forces used and the tactics that the Germans used. The book also tells us how many lives were taken during the first World War. The book also us on which country fired the first shots that started the first World War.

I like this book because the book te
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
A J P Taylor was a pioneer in presenting history to TV audiences. He was quite good at it. While he was a first-class presenter and quite popular, he was not a first-class historian. Taylor helped solidify among the British population a view of the war shaped by the "literature of disillusionment". That perspective is now being revised by the new Tory historiography sweeping Britain. I don't have many problems with what might be called the disillusionment perspective, but I just wish the history ...more
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A brilliantly readable, concise overview of WWI. I bought this book to get information on the other fronts of the war - Eastern, Italian and Middle Eastern and all are covered. I now intend to buy books specifically on those campaigns.

If I had one criticism, there is minimal coverage of the African Campaign. I throughly recommend this book to anyone who wants an overview of all the events in the war, military and political.
This was one of the first books I read about World War One. As usual with Taylor, it is brimming over with self confident judgments. Sadly, while I enjoyed this book immensely at the time, the more I have read on the subject, and particularly the more recent scholarship I have read, the lower my opinion of this book has become.

As too often with Taylor, entertainment trumps history.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it liked it
به عنوان نخستین کتاب برای شناخت این جنگ چندان مناسب نیست. گویی، نویسنده با فرض اینکه خواننده اطلاعات مقدماتی درباره این جنگ دارد، به شرح و تحلیل وقایع می پردازد.
اما عکس های زیادی دارد و تحلیل های پایین عکسها بسیار خواندنی است
Andrew Walter
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
A good overview, or introduction to the events of WW1, with good maps. Unfortunately Taylors sneering tone is overwheling at points. I am in no way pro-war but I don't think this kind of thing helps-there is no need to put flippant captions to so many of the photographs. Good maps.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reference
A rather dated account first published in 1963. Fortunately the inadequate text is well supplemented with pictures.
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Very enjoyable, highly readable, dry and pithy account of the First World War. Good with context, and the personalities involved. Does reinforce the "lions led by donkeys" popular image of the war.
Oct 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Great pictures. Plus a good summery of the First World War. Great for anyone who wants an initial understanding of events surronding the War.
Sam Fickling
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Dec 15, 2016
Eric Praud
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Aug 17, 2008
darren dilks
rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2016
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Jan 03, 2011
Dimario Campbell
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Mar 06, 2016
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Nov 12, 2012
H Wesselius
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Jul 26, 2011
James Grant
rated it it was amazing
Jul 03, 2014
Mark Gallant
rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2018
Michael Polley
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really helped with my understanding of the first world war

Found this book to be a great start in understanding WW1, however I could only give a four star rating due to the low resolution of the maps. When you are trying to explain troop movements and changes in the different theatres of war it becomes very frustrating when the map you are presented with becomes a fuzzy blur and place names and legends become illegible. On the plus side I could get around this using the highlight function on the
rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2009
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Alan John Percivale Taylor was a British historian of the 20th century and renowned academic who became well known to millions through his popular television lectures.
More about A.J.P. Taylor
“earlier wars, and in the Second World War, generals, even marshals, also ran risks and died in action. In the First World War they led comfortable lives. All except Kitchener. He was the only outstanding military figure on either side who came to a violent end. Asquith” 0 likes
“Those British generals who prolonged the slaughter kept their posts and won promotion; any who protested ran the risk of dismissal. By” 0 likes
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