The very top.
Organization. Presentation. Comprehension.
The first battle of the Marn August 1914. Listened several times and even googled battle maps.
I did so. And then much of it again.
The categorization of different elements important to the story. For example, after presenting historical elements relating to Kaiser Wilhelm, there was sort of a "flashback" element entitled "Background: the Hohenzollerns". This went on for the Hapsburgs, the leadership of the Central powers, the leadership of the Triple Entente, and so on. These segments were entertaining, informative, and, I found, essential to "keeping up" for the amateur historian.
Related to the above comment, the detailed description of an event laced together with the background information about the individual players.
The very detailed accounting of the fight for Verdun.
There were several elements that moved me, but all were related to the individual accounts of members present at the scene of events described.
A suggestion for the best way to listen to this book: I opened an interactive time/event map website and left it open while listening to the book. I could update the years on the website while I listened to the book and was able to follow the movement of troops on a map.
This is one of the books I should have purchased an accompanying "readable" book for. I might do so yet. This work is worth revisiting as I continue to read/listen about WWI.
Yes - the presentation was perfect. The print version would be nice to have as a reference though. I was very impressed with the amount of information provided in this work.
The Backgrounds provided at the beginning of several chapters. Not only does this book do an excellent job of thoroughly and fairly covering what happened between 1914-1918, but it provides necessary background to important events, battles, people and places, which are necessary to know before you can understand the significance they had in the War.
He didn't perform characters, as there weren't characters to perform.
I can't quite listen to a book that's 28 hours long, but it provided me a great month of listening to while driving to and from work.
If you want to have a well-rounded, in-depth, fair, balanced, well written and well read history of WWI, you need look no further. Get this book! You won't be disappointed!
MSU Spartan grad living in PDX. First book : London's Call of the Wild, Doyle's Holmes, and Herbert's Dune. History, Mystery, Sci Fi
Yes, it is a well arranged piece that both works at giving background as the story of the first World War marches forward.
I felt the chapters regarding the introduction of nerve agents into the wars, along with the perspectives on the commanding officers on either side gave a excellent demonstration on how the technology and tactics had gotten ahead of the human element. It almost felt as if the opposing sides had to learn how to fight again.
A balanced tone, he kept the story moving
No, this is a slug fest, just like aspects of the war.
One of the more enjoyable history texts I've come across. It did a better job of bringing the human elements to the forefront, than having it be bogged down in troop action and numbers.
Best nonfiction, by far. Meticulously researched, and the vocal performance was unwavering and excellent.
The depth of the presentation was tremendous. This is a seminal work in the field, and it was conveyed with gravitas, but not so much that one tuned out at any point. Which is rather surprising, when you consider it's a book that requires over 20 hours to complete.
There is a sense of awesome respect for the subject matter which is wonderfully conveyed.
The description of life in the trenches, especially in Belgium at Flanders and Ypres will always stick with me.
Highly recommended, and could easily be added to many college courses on the subject or related subjects (20th Century History, European History, etc.).
The history is made into a riveting story and extensive background material on many aspects is included. The author does not hesitate to point out the many tragic failures of the conflict.
Say something about yourself!
I listened to this audio book while researching the first world war. It is probably the most complete compilation (at least in any readable or audible format) of the great war. The author is meticulous in his effort, paying special attention to the details. The book is even entertaining in parts - how often can you say that for a history book!
A detailed and nuanced presentation. Remarkably non-linear but soberly and dramatically written and presented. Worth listening to more than once. Highly recommended and a very telling commentary on the state of the human race.
Historian in training and writer
Strong historical accuacy
How the author organized the manuscript by the story lines with a background to help the reader understand this travisty.
His ability to sell the charactors with subtle audio nuances. A slight change of tone, so to speak.
Owens, Sasson, and other readings that show the horrors in the solders perspective.
This is a text book for my Sophmore Level WWI class. As usual, Professor Gonzales, Oxford studied and spent decades teaching all over the United States and Europe, has choosen a great text that shows one of the best renditions of this Draconian act of Barbarism with human history; called World War I.
This novel has captured all the facets of this hell from the grudges from centuries past to the petty and almost childish behaviour the leaders and generals had possessed. End fighting on both ends play a key roll, plus the strategies from battles faught decades earlier and the advances in weaponary turned this part of history into cornerstone to things to come within the 20th century.
Finding this book both interesting for the information and how it is convayed. Reading it twice, once for scholastic reason and again for the pure interest of the book make it special and I will keep it on my history book shelf; reading it again someday.
The Great War can be hard to understand because the world was so different just 100 years ago. This war seemed so unnecessary. Millions of lives lost and yet it is still hard to understand the purpose of so much carnage. This book will leave the amateur historian with a much better understanding of events.
The author does a great job with his various background segments. More than just a history of what led up to the war and the war itself, this book gives the reader an idea of what Europe in 1914 was like, information on the main players and events.
This book doesn't get too bogged down in the minor details of each battle, but instead talks about the overall strategy of the combatants and how the battles played out. He also does an excellent job of bringing many of the main characters to life.
It changed and enriched my view on the war. I think Germany is less responsible for the outbreak of the war than previously thought - there's plenty of blame to go around - and was much to harshly treated at its end.
The narrator was a bit of a slow reader so I played him at 1.5 speed on my Kindle Fire. That seemed to work just fine.
I highly recommend this book!!