We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
A World Undone Audiobook

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

Regular Price:$34.96
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (1242 )
5 star
 (812)
4 star
 (328)
3 star
 (79)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.6 (1133 )
5 star
 (792)
4 star
 (272)
3 star
 (56)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.5 (1143 )
5 star
 (698)
4 star
 (331)
3 star
 (83)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Victoria Evrard Tucson, AZ USA 03-31-16
    Victoria Evrard Tucson, AZ USA 03-31-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    A. Gadkari Madison,WI 12-06-15
    A. Gadkari Madison,WI 12-06-15

    AG

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Did not meet expectations"

    I have to caveat this review by saying it followed my reading of the "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", which, in my humble opinion is one of the best written books on history. Although covering different wars, I found that this book did not weave the story together as coherently as the Rise did.
    Also the reading left a lot to be desired. It was so flat and unemotional that it would have put me to sleep had I been disinterested in the topic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 11-23-15
    James 11-23-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Phenomenal"

    Meyer bleeds passion, with the writing clearly udisplaying his obsession, respect, and care for the subject.
    One passage in the introduction stuck: 'I had the great fortune of reading about the Great War without the polluting thought of hoping to write a book myself later' (paraphrased). Its a complete and masterful work, created from the heart and shaped by an expert.
    The narration feels slow to begin with and Sachs almost sounds drone like until suddenly I found the pace he set to be appropriate to the content. It quickly got better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daekar 10-25-15
    Daekar 10-25-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent distillation of a complex subject"

    Very good narration of a text that expresses the tragic inevitability of conflict and steep learning curve negotiated by the participants in what some call the first modern war. Covers the "great man" perspective but tempers it with plenty of material about the populations at large and many colorful outlying issues that are usually glossed over. Disturbing but highly satisfying as a primer on the war to end all wars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin 10-12-15
    Benjamin 10-12-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just brilliant"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I wouldn't, because none of my friends are as hardcore about history. If you're a fan of Hard Core History by Dan Carlin, you'll love this


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A World Undone?

    The descriptions of the Sultans


    What about Robin Sachs’s performance did you like?

    His gravitas is addictive


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The idiocy of the leaders made me chuckle


    Any additional comments?

    Nope

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.