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1914: The Year the World Ended (2013)
by Paul Ham
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1914: The Year The World Ended is a history of the events, and the people who lived through them, which led to the outbreak of the First World War and the creation of the front line that became the scene of the most concentrated slaughter of human beings in history. The lives of millions of young men would be wasted - killed or dreadfully wounded - in a doomed struggle to control a trench line running from Liege in Belgium to Verdun in France, which barely moved in four years. 1914 is, of course, much more than a date: it is emblematic of terrible events, the vortex of the gathering storm. As such, '1914' will draw on the well of the deep past to show how political, economic and social change coalesced into that singularly disastrous year. In this way the book gathers the reins of decades, and binds them to those few irreversible months, as revealed through the experiences of ordinary British, French and German people, who found themselves u willingly and unwillingly u caught up in what would be the most dreadful conflict the world had known. The narrative hinges on the personal histories of British, French and German soldiers; as well as others involved, or touched, by in the war, such as parents, nurses, deserters, pacifists, drawn from primary source material - eg diaries, letters, and memoirs. Their individual stories will be set against the great swim of political events that led to the outbreak of war.
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