by G. J. Meyer
I actually started this one in 2008, but what the heck. It’s my blog. It’s also close to 800 pages, so I’m counting it.
This is the story of the 1st World War, and Meyer manages to cover a complex period of world history in a style that is easy to read and understand. In each section, he provides background stories of the major players in the war, enabling the reader to follow the complicated politics of Europe that led to the bloodbath called the Great War. Once you finish reading this account of the “war to end all wars”, you will more easily realize how the world was set up for a second great disaster in World War II.
Meyer includes a helpful chronology in the beginning of the book, as well as a list of the major characters. There are a handful of photographs, and only a few maps. Probably my only criticism of the book is that more maps would have been helpful.
The last sentence in the book follows a background section entitled “The Fate Of Men & Nations”, in which Meyer describes what happened to the major characters in the Great War over the next decade and a half. After discussing Winston Churchill’s eventual warnings about the rearmament of Nazi Germany, he ends the story by saying, “But that is another story.” I can only hope that he plans to write that story as well.