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Publisher's Summary

In six weeks during April and May 1915, as World War I escalated, Germany forever altered the way war would be fought. On April 22, at Ypres, German canisters spewed poison gas at French and Canadian soldiers in their trenches; on May 7, the German submarine U-20, without warning, torpedoed the passenger liner Lusitania, killing 1,198 civilians; and on May 31, a German Zeppelin began the first aerial bombardment of London and its inhabitants. Each of these actions violated rules of war carefully agreed at the Hague Conventions of 1898 and 1907. Though Germany's attempts to quickly win the war failed, the psychological damage caused by these attacks far outweighed the casualties. The era of weapons of mass destruction had dawned.

While each of these momentous events has been chronicled in histories of the war, celebrated historian Diana Preston links them for the first time, revealing the dramatic stories behind each through the eyes of those who were there, whether making the decisions or experiencing their effect. She places the attacks in the context of the centuries-old debate over what constitutes "just war" and shows how, in their aftermath, the other combatants felt the necessity to develop extreme weapons of their own. In our current time of terror, when weapons of mass destruction - imagined or real - are once again vilified, the story of their birth is of great relevance.

©2015 Diana Preston (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
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Battlefield 1 - How it really was.

Would you consider the audio edition of A Higher Form of Killing to be better than the print version?

I only listened to the audio version

What did you like best about this story?

WW1 was never really covered in school. American schools (atleast in the 80's) focused on WWII. We knew WW1 was called "The War to End All Wars" and this book really drove it home. Modern day warfare started here on a populace that had no idea how to handle it.

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

I have not.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Air ships. The entire section about airships was amazing. The Germans treated them like submarines, neither of which they really knew nothing about.

Any additional comments?

Battlefield 1 is coming out soon. If you're a gamer I HIGHLY suggest you listen to this. As an Alpha Tester for the game. this audiobook will give you more of an understanding of what's going on in the game.

Who'd a thunk it, I learn about stuff from videogames I never learned in school. Yup. Videogames are a waste of time...

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Excellent

Would you listen to A Higher Form of Killing again? Why?

Restarted after I finished it.

What did you like best about this story?

Devastating research. If you want primary sources, as I did, you will find them here. It also highlights WWI researchers must travel to Britain to find the material.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Technology Changes War

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Solid research

Well done including the narration. The mix of personal stories intermixed with accurate historical research makes for a,compelling listen. I will be looking at other books by this author.

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Excellent and Prescient

An excellent, approachable look at the horrors that World War I bestowed on warfare and the world in just six weeks in 2015.

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Lots of good information

Lots of good information about World War I weapons and the politics behind them. Would recommend if you are a military buff. Lots of info… Maybe too much about the sinking of the Lusitania