Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings

This book only covers the first five months of World War I, but those five months were certainly horrendous enough to be worth remembering. The author does not buy into the the subsequent consensus that the war was pointless and not worth the cost; perhaps it never should have been fought, but in his view Germany was certainly to blame for starting it, and once it started it was necessary to resist the German onslaught in order to prevent a German hegemony of Europe. As an Englishman he does not think Britain’s sacrifice was in vain, although many of his compatriots did and do not agree with him. A good book that makes some good arguments, although much of it is a catalogue of horrors that undermines the author’s thesis.

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