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The Story of the Great War  By  cover art

The Story of the Great War

By: Roland G. Usher
Narrated by: Johann Zeiger
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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook on World War I is divided into six parts: causes of the war, and then a year-by-year account from 1914 to 1918. It concludes with a chronology.

Public Domain (P)2018 Museum Audiobooks
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Easy-to-follow book on a very complicated war

I am a history enthusiast, not so much a history buff, and I knew very little about WWI prior to this book, other than it was a very important (if convoluted) war that is oft overshadowed by WWII. This book does a fantastic job of explaining the global sociopolitical situation leading up to the war and details the motivations of the parties in play which I found endlessly fascinating. I never knew how much preparation Germany had put in for decades before any shots were fired, or why the war stretched into Asia and Africa as it did. The author does a year-by-year rundown of the war and the listener gets an appreciation for just how much of a grueling stalemate it was for nearly the very beginning.

My favorite thing about this book is that it was written right after the war, not decades (or a century) later with unnecessary layers of retrospective and politics to obscure it. The author prefaces the book by saying basically "a hugely important thing just happened and we need to chronicle it right away." I love that the reader gets a contemporary account of what had just happened to the world.

In terms of the audio, the narrator does a great job and is easily understood. This book was written in the U.S. and is thus narrated by an America, so I find this narrator much easier to follow than those of your typical history book. The narrator sounds like he is personally describing the war to you rather than giving a lecture in a stuffy lecture hall.

Overall this has been my favorite history book I have yet purchased, audio or otherwise, and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in a topic that is never covered in American classrooms and yet had such a major impact on the world in the 20th century.