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Publisher's Summary

From freezing infantrymen huddled in bloodied trenches on the front lines to intricate political maneuvering and tense strategy sessions in European capitals, noted historian John Toland tells of the unforgettable final year of the First World War.

As 1918 opened, the Allies and Central Powers remained locked in a desperate, bloody stalemate, despite the deaths of millions of soldiers over the previous three and a half years. The arrival of the Americans "over there" by the middle of the year turned the tide of war, resulting in an Allied victory in November.

In this audiobook, participants on both sides, from enlisted men to generals and prime ministers to monarchs, vividly recount the battles, sensational events, and behind-the-scenes strategies that shaped the climactic, terrifying year. It's all here - the horrific futility of going over the top into a hail of bullets in no man's land; the enigmatic death of the legendary German ace, the Red Baron; Operation Michael, a punishing German attack in the spring; the Americans' long-awaited arrival in June; the murder of Russian Czar Nicholas II and his family, the growing fear of a communist menace in the east; and the armistice on November 11.

The different points of view of Germans, Americans, British, French, and Russians add depth, complexity, and understanding to the tragedies and triumphs of the War to End All Wars.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

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  • Jeff
  • Portsmouth, Ohio, United States
  • 11-27-17

Outstanding. Drawing from many sources.

In the 100th anniversary of WWI, a great work concerning the strange circumstances that ended the war and opened the gates for the rise of Hitler, the decorated war hero of the Great War.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Hellocat
  • Centurion, South Africa
  • 04-04-18

Oddly biased, but worthy account of the period

There are surprisingly few books available about the last year of WWI, and of those Toland's is often touted as the best. While it's certainly a valuable account of that critical year, purely for the fact that it exists, it's far from perfect.

Toland is not the most objective writer, and is biased in some strange ways. Chief among those is the extremely high regard he has for Douglas Haig, who is portrayed throughout as some sort of misunderstood genius whose true potential is held back only by the meddlesome politicians back in London.

I can think of few British figures as universally maligned as Haig, and you'd probably have to travel back to the days of King John to find person as widely reviled. Yet Toland is constantly going out of his way to portray Haig as eternally patient, infinitely wise and tactically brilliant.

Since no mention is made of Haig's disastrous conduct in the war preceding 1918, readers unfamiliar with the subject will no doubt take Toland's at his word. They will walk away from the book thinking Haig a hero, Lloyd George an idiot and Marshall Petain a coward. This would be most unfortunate, since all of those things are untrue.

All of that being said, there are plenty of fascinating anecdotes here about the war's final year, and the broad strokes of the events as they unfolded are for the most part accurate.

Certainly worth a read, but only with a healthy dose of skepticism regarding his portrayal of the main players.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Great account of World War I.

This book takes you through each battle on each front. And the way it's put together makes it story like. It isn't like listening to a history book, this story dives into each battle of the last year and the narratives behind each political move. Great read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Comprehensive survey of final year of WWI

This book works every country - especially Russia - with vignettes at every level of society. I learned much regarding Russia’s vacillating fortunes and the intimacy enjoyed of Lenin by American and English representatives.
Grover Gardener always compelling.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Excellent narrator for WWI book

The narrator was a good choice for this book, with lots of British and French names and words to pronounce. He did a fantastic job; made me feel that I was right there in Europe during the Great War.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very in depth

Intensely written the author tells the story as if you were there fighting along side of the solders

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great book must read<br />

good storyline well-written exceptional narration would recommend to anyone wanting to learn about the final year of world war 1

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Fantastic work, but with all audible WW1 books, I DONT SPEAK FRENCH!!

The narrative is fantastic, blending strategic narrative with personal vignettes, but like many WW1 works on audible, the prevalence of French generals and politics lends itself to inclusion of excited and sage utterances in French. Unfortunately, a translation or approximation is never included. This is by no means a large pet of the work, but I feel it matters. Certainly in the physical work translations are provided in footnotes, but not included in the audio performance. One loses the humor or drama of the moment, and it breaks the immersion. Regrettable.

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I learned much

I enjoyed this book greatly. I thought I knew the World War 1 story. But John Toland’s account disabused me of that belief. In particular, I failed to realize how closely balanced the war was in the spring and summer of 1918.
I recommend the book enthusiastically.

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In depth narrative for WW1 buffs

Much enjoyed it about a period little remembered. Toland excellent as always. Have read many of his works.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-27-17

No mans land

Great insight to the last year of the Great War,very well worth a listen, informative and very interesting.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful