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A World Undone Audiobook
A World Undone
Written by: 
G. J. Meyer
Narrated by: 
Robin Sachs
 >   > 
A World Undone Audiobook

A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

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Publisher's Summary

The First World War is one of history’s greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed 20 million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today.

World War I is unique in the number of questions about it that remain unsettled. After more than 90 years, scholars remain divided on these questions, and it seems likely that they always will. A World Undone does not claim to have all the answers - if answers are even possible. However, it will provide listeners with enough information to understand why the questions persist, and perhaps in some cases, to arrive at conclusions of their own. A World Undone is a grand, tragic story brilliantly told.

About the author: G. J. Meyer is a professional writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Harper’s, and many other publications. While working for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship by Harvard University. He is the author of the New York Times best seller The Tudors, the Edgar Award-winning The Memphis Murders, and other works.

©2006 G. J. Meyer (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A World Undone is an original and very readable account of one of the most significant and often misunderstood events of the last century. With a historian’s eye for clearheaded analysis and a storyteller’s talent for detail and narrative, G. J. Meyer presents a compelling account of the blunders that produced the world’s first ‘great war’ and set the stage for many of the tragic events that followed.” (Steve M. Gillon, resident historian, the History Channel)

“Thundering, magnificent…This is a book of true greatness that prompts moments of sheer joy and pleasure. Researched to the last possible dot…It will earn generations of admirers.” (Washington Times)

“Meyer’s sketches of the British Cabinet, the Russian Empire, the aging Austro-Hungarian Empire, the leaders of Prussia with their newly minted swagger, are lifelike and plausible. His account of the tragic folly of Gallipoli is masterful.” (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (1191 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert 07-19-16
    Robert 07-19-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    7
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    "Moving"

    Very comprehensive and informative book on the Forgotten War.

    Narrator is pretty good also. Makes it easy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth United States 07-02-16
    Elizabeth United States 07-02-16 Member Since 2010

    Mystery hound

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "If you like military history..."

    I couldn't make it through the book because of lack of social history and the perspective from the trenches. Body counts not enough to bring this war to full perspective. I happen to like Robin Sachs as a rather smokey reader of Jo Nesbo books but he might not have the staying power for a book this long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert F. 05-20-16
    Robert F. 05-20-16

    I'm too embarrassed!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    10
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    "I FINALLY UNDERSTAND WW1"
    What made the experience of listening to A World Undone the most enjoyable?

    Very good narrator and very clear explanations of complex issues. He breaks up the narration with BACKGROUND so that you never become overwhelmed with detail.


    What other book might you compare A World Undone to and why?

    "Inferno" which is a history of WW2 by Max Hastings. They both bring CLARITY (but they don't simplfy) international relations and battles.


    Have you listened to any of Robin Sachs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes I love his tone---a little sad at the immense tragedy of the war.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No---it's quite long.


    Any additional comments?

    He concludes with "but that is another story." I sorely hope he writes that story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 04-07-16
    Diana 04-07-16 Member Since 2016
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    20
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    "Great History"

    The narrator was fantastic for this book. It is a great history of the war. While potentially a little dry at times, it certainly delivers a complete story of a war that I only thought I knew a lot about!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Evrard Tucson, AZ USA 03-31-16
    Victoria Evrard Tucson, AZ USA 03-31-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Overview of WWI - Excellent Chapters"

    This is one of the best books for beginners wanting to know about the origins, diplomacy, combatants, battles and military strategies of World War I. I have it in book form and audiobook form.

    The author's writing is concise but not dense. It's not a difficult book to read. However, the wording is such that the reader is given an enormous amount of information on each page.

    One thing I especially like and is unique in my experience, is how the chapters are divided. After every chapter on the war there is a chapter called "Background." Some examples of these Background chapters are: The Hapsburgs, The Serbs, The Romanovs, London in 1914, The Machinery of Death, The French Commanders. These chapters allow one to read about what's going on in the war without detailed background information being interwoven into the text, thus making the text too dense.

    The audiobook is read by Robin Sachs. I like him to listen to; however, he makes more than a few mistakes. He misreads the text. I only know this because I have the actual book and usually read the book while listening to the audiobook. It would take too long to list every example of a misread, so I will give just one: On page 250 of the paperback book, the first sentence starts with, "Early in January, French went to London . . . ." Robin Sachs reads this sentence as: "Early in June, French went to London . . . ." I think if you don't have a copy of the book these misreads can lead to confusion. FYI: This sentence is read in Part 2, Chapter 6 of the audiobook, (Chapter 13 - The Search for Elsewhere - in the book.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James M. FitzSimons 02-22-16 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    "Great book very concise and entertaining"

    One of the best parts about this book is the fact that Meyer gives not only every necessary detail to understand what is happening but he gives the background of many events and histories on all the key players to make ensure you understand their motives. Being new to studying world war 1 this book was the perfect way for me to become introduced to many of the complex reasons behind the conflict as well as the simple reasons Amazing book and well narrated

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-21-16
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    5
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    "Magnitude of WWI"

    I read widely in military history and politics of war. This is one of the most readable and comprehensive history of WWI I have read. Like Barbara Tuchman, Mr. Meyer has a gifted pen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Hanna 01-15-16
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    7
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    "Comprehensive, Detailed, Dry and Emotionless"
    If you could sum up A World Undone in three words, what would they be?

    Comprehensive, Thorough, Somewhat Dry


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The author does an excellent job of detailing the war, and I especially enjoyed the "background" segments, giving the reader a back-story to recent history of a nation-state, current or relative past events in that state or before a battle, helping set the stage for the complexities of the war. Too many facts, dates, technical details often resulted getting caught up in minutia, neglecting the human side of the story.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narrator had a very flat tone, and this resulted in a somewhat dry, difficult to follow story. I'm an avid fan of military history and WWI, so I did appreciate the details and back-stories, but again, it probably would've been better to read in book format. I may rent a book from the library to re-read it because it was very interesting.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I have a 1-hour commute to work and even at 2 hours a day, it took me awhile to complete. I'd often have to repeat segments to catch names and events again.


    Any additional comments?

    This book may have been more enjoyable in a text format, allowing the reader to visually see dates, names, places, rather than having to hold all of these things in a memory bank as the story progressed. Rather dry and overall didn't express enough of the human toll, of suffering of soldiers and nations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julian 01-12-16
    Julian 01-12-16
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    15
    6
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    "Excellent, informative, read"
    Any additional comments?

    Well read, easy to follow narrative, despite the numerous stops for background chapters. These never disturb the flow, and add significantly to the understanding of the war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-07-15
    Robert Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-07-15 Member Since 2010
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    4
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    "Solid perspective on World War I"

    I thought this a digestible yet complete overview of the First World War. It was free from predetermined perspectives and took a balanced approach towards participants and causes. It avoided nationalistic preferences or latent prejudices. It was not scholarly, so I did not read it for new insight, but it seemed accurate without forcing new theories just to establish contemporary relevance. The use of anecdotal sub chapters to provide background was useful if a bit thin. I appreciated attention to some of the underrepresented figures of the war, such as Gen. John Monash who commanded ANZAC forces. I thought it was commendably restrained in the avoidance of excess battle detail, bit unfortunately not as critical of many of the military leaders as they deserved (at least with the perspective of 100 years). The performance was solid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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