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The First World War: Volume I: To Arms

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The First World War: To Arms v.1 Features Hew Strachan's monumental account on the First World War. This work combines military and strategic perspectives with those of cultural, diplomatic, economic, and social history and also represents the viewpoints of Germany, England, and France. Full description
Paperback, 1248 pages
Published February 6th 2003 by OUP Oxford (first published April 26th 2001)
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Aug 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-i
World War I is the runty little sibling of a cooler, better-known big brother, World War II. The perception of World War I's sheer meaningless, along with World War II's historical impact, has continued for long these many years, despite constant reappraisals, including Niall Ferguson's recent theory that it was all one big war, with a little break in the middle. For whatever reason, movies, books (aside from some great novels, such as "All Quiet on the Western Front"), and the History Channel a ...more
Oct 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A mammoth book that gives you a prelude and introduction to the First world war as if you were in Harvard. After all, all of this for just the first two years.

But it's not written for your enjoyment: either you have the required focus to go over (and, more importantly, appreciate) hundreds of pages of economics, politics, and war, or you'll get overwhelmed and/or turned off quickly. Even I couldn't get through it fully with the mind-frame of a casual reader, the first time around.

The one thing t
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it

I liked it. First off, this was probably a bit more book than I can normally handle. It was dense. That being said, it really gave a complete picture of a variety of aspects of the early years of the war. I liked that it spent time going through how each of the issues affected each of the major powers instead of just looking at one nation in particular. I felt that the book's main weakness was in describing the battles in that I had trouble figuring out spatially where everybody was moving and
Ioana-Nicoleta Găurean
Jan 09, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: ww1-history
Code: 2.5.6.
Location: Glasgow
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As definitive an account as one is likely to get on the first portion of the first of our World Wars. If Sir Hew is able to buck the actuarial odds (he is, as of this writing, 65 years old) and finish the final two volumes of his proposed trilogy with anything resembling the same rigor, wit, and insight demonstrated in this first one, the question of Most Indispensable Work on this subject will be settled for quite some time to come.

Highly recommended.
Jerome Sheridan
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you are a historian, I give it 5 stars. A very thorough, well-researched, and definitive account of the opening of the war. If you are not historian who is not so familiar with WWI, I would read Keegan first.
Jonathan Hutchins
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: gave-up-on
Far more detailed, exhaustively so, than I needed or wanted to read, but an awesome achievement. When oh when, or even if, will Strachan conclude his massive and authoritative trilogy
Ahmed Abd-allah
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
good survey for the beginning of the war .. i recommend it
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Hew Strachan was born and brought up in Edinburgh, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2003 and awarded an Hon. D.Univ., (Paisley) 2005. He is also Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was successively Research Fellow, Admissions Tutor and Senior Tutor, 1975-92. From 1992 to 2001 he was Professor of Modern History at the University of Glasgow, and from ...more
More about Hew Strachan

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