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The Vanquished Audiobook

The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End, 1917-1923

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Publisher's Summary

For the Western allies, 11 November 1918 has always been a solemn date - the end of fighting which had destroyed a generation and a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of their principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe, this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country.

In this highly original, gripping book, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western front which proved so ruinous to Europe's future but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were wrecked by revolution, pogroms, mass expulsions and further major military clashes. If the war itself had in most places been a struggle purely between state-backed soldiers, these new conflicts were mainly about civilians and paramilitaries, and millions of people died across Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe before the USSR and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states came into being. Everywhere there were vengeful people, their lives racked by a murderous sense of injustice, looking for the opportunity to take retribution against enemies real and imaginary. Only a decade later, the rise of the Third Reich and other totalitarian states provided them with the opportunity they had been looking for.

©2016 Robert Gerwarth (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

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  • Elaine
    Hospital, Ireland
    1/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent summary"

    A most enjoyable book. Succinct, well written, informative on a tangled era of european history.
    Only negative is its sometimes prolonged and possibly unnecessary descriptions of extreme violence.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    12/15/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Now I get why there are so many problems in our world"

    Wow. A comprehensive study of the violent chaos in Europe and beyond following the cessation of hostilities on the western front. Real and direct resonance with the causes of today's turmoil in these same areas.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • S. Moorcroft
    London UK
    1/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    "A Terrible Legacy"

    Well narrated history. A comprehensive history of the fall out from the 'Great War. Recommended reading.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • r
    12/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "RD Cool H"

    This is the best war in history I have listened to so far It explain more about the two wars and problems we have up to the present day today. The atrocity committed in Eastern Europe after fall of the Ottoman Empire. Carving up of the Middle East. And the new European map of Europe this is more than history lesson.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Yusuf
    London, United Kingdom
    3/7/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If you thought the First World War ended in 1918 you need to read this book!"

    A well written corrective to the common belief that the First World War ended in 1918. The guns on the Western front may have fallen silent on 11th November but all across the eastern zone of the conflict they continued to fire. The end of the Romanov,Habsburg and Ottoman empire's and the birth of nationstates were paralleled by population exchanges and bloodshed. Anyone who is interested in history of any kind needs to read this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • nigeyb
    Hove, England
    2/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An exceptional book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I now realise that my rather lazy and Anglo-centric view of the period following WW1, as a relatively peaceful era, was completely wide of the mark. Robert Gerwarth brilliantly describes how for many countries and regions, the Armistice on 11 November 1918, was just the start of five more years of violence and upheaval.


    What other book might you compare The Vanquished to, and why?

    Perhaps the Anthony Beevor WW2 books - certainly in terms of its thoroughness and authority


    What does John Banks bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A crisp, no nonsense but clear narration


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The story of Europe in the years between 1917 and 1923 is crucial for understanding the cycles of violence that characterised the continent’s 20th century history


    Any additional comments?

    Four empires broke up in the aftermath of WW1: Austria-Hungary, Germany, tsarist Russia and the Ottoman empire. 'The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End' is a fast-paced, fluent and authoritative analysis of the turmoil in the territories of the four shattered empires, as well as in Greece and Italy. Civil wars overlapped with revolutions, counter-revolutions and border conflicts between emerging states, many sowing the seeds for WW2. This turmoil was frequently characterised by extreme violence and political disorder, with racial and religious minorities often suffering more than most.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • wells
    2/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "well written account "

    well written account and excellent analysis, put across in simple easy reading. I very much enjoyed this book and it bares the facts and confronts the truths of the war in a non partisan way.the narrator is serious and good.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • annie
    orston, United Kingdom
    7/5/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fascinating, enlightening, sobering"
    If you could sum up The Vanquished in three words, what would they be?

    a fascinating insight into the complexities of the great war, its causes, its impact and how it impacts us a century later.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farniboy
    Wirral, UK
    4/28/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Aftermath of a War To End All Wars, But Didn't"
    Would you listen to The Vanquished again? Why?

    Yes. Like all factual books it's always good to refresh your memory.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Vanquished?

    The burning of Smyrna by the Turks in 1922, as Allied war ships looked on, is especially moving.


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

    It made me angry because there were incidents taking place that would continue to affect Europe for the rest of the century.


    Any additional comments?

    An interesting read about the evil that men do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PSMorris
    UK
    3/27/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent,interesting and informative"

    This was a great listen on a wide range of related topics.I doubted one part when the author referred to Hitler as finishing WW1 as a Private and a despatch rider?! It is probably commonly known that he was a Corporal and a (message) runner.. But overall a fascinating listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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