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.
“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)
Possibly the very best one-volume history of WWI you are going to find. Read it in print twice, listened once, will probably listen again. In addition to an excellent linear front to back presentation of the history of WWI, Meyer adds short "backgrounder" chapters that are standalone presentations of their subject: The Hapsburgs, The Hohenzollerns, and more.
I really enjoyed this book. An excellent introduction to World War I for the uninitiated or those who, like me, hadn't studied the Great War in many years. I especially appreciated how the author sprinkled in the background information throughout the book organically, rather than taking the first third of the book just explaining all of the players and setting the stage for the conflict. My only, very minor, criticism is that the war outside of Europe is almost completely ignored. I would have appreciated at least some cursory coverage of the international aspects of World War I. Regardless, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the Great War.
I have been going through several books on the great war, and intend to keep going, but this one is my favorite so far. The narrator was great, the book was very thorough considering it's an overview of the entire war, and yet it was easy to remain engaged all the way through.
Environmental Engineer and Disc Golfer
I can't speak highly enough about this book. I listened to it at work in the mornings before the emails started rolling in, and I couldn't get enough. I find the dynamics of national politics juxtaposed with the misery and heroism of soldiers from all sides utterly compelling. I have been so drawn in that I purchased two additional resources - audio books on the Somme and Galipolli campaign.
A World Undone provides enough detail to understand the events, while being clear and concise enough that it made me interested in even more detailed analyses. I listened to this book with Wikipedia open so I could follow along with maps and pictures.
In summary, this is the definition of a five-star history book. Also, the narration is perfect.
No prior knowledge of the cultural string is required due to meyer's alternating of background and content chapters
Does an excellent job of explains how the war started and how recent and long ago history contributed to the war starting.
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