The First World War was the overwhelming disaster from which everything else in the twentieth century stemmed. Fourteen million combatants died, a further twenty million were wounded, four empires were destroyed and even the victorsâ empires were fatally damaged. The sheer complexity and scale of the war have encouraged historians to write books on a similar scale. But now Norman Stone, one of Britainâ s greatest historians, has achieved the almost impossible task of writing a terse, brilliantly written, opinionated and witty short history of the conflict. In only 140 pages he distils a lifetime of teaching, arguing and thinking into what will be one of the most talked about history books of 2007
Norman Stone has taught at universities in Britain and Turkey. He was Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford from 1984 to 1997 and is currently Professor of History at Bilkent University. He splits his time between Ankara, Istanbul and Oxford. His books include The Eastern Front 1914-1917, which won the Wolfson Prize, and Europe Transformed.