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  • The First World War

  • A Complete History
  • Written by: Martin Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Roger Clark
  • Length: 33 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It was to be the war to end all wars, and it began at 11:15 on the morning of June 28, 1914, in an outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire called Sarajevo. It would officially end nearly five years later. Unofficially, however, it has never ended: Many of the horrors we live with today are rooted in the First World War.

The Great War left millions of civilians and soldiers maimed or dead. It also saw the creation of new technologies of destruction: tanks, planes, and submarines; machine guns and field artillery; poison gas and chemical warfare. It introduced U-boat packs and strategic bombing, unrestricted war on civilians and mistreatment of prisoners. But the war changed our world in far more fundamental ways than these.

In its wake, empires toppled, monarchies fell, and whole populations lost their national identities. As political systems and geographic boundaries were realigned, the social order shifted seismically. Manners and cultural norms; literature and the arts; education and class distinctions; all underwent a vast sea change.

©1994 Martin Gilbert (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The First World War

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • troy a myers
  • 2020-07-27

Unbiased true facts of the first world war

I found this book truly enlightening. Being an American marine corps veteran and seeking to understand the causes of war i found this book very educational. The history of the tragedies of Europe have helped me identify why Americans aren’t able to fully understand the cost of war. And the causes of current strife

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 2020-08-03

The narative was excellent, the performer was just

Mr. Gilbert's narrative starts a bit slow but soon builds into a well researched history. I especially appreciated the increased detail on the participation of the United States military and the relationships between Petan, Haig and, Pershing.

Mr. Clark's narration leaves something to be desired. His frequent use of alternative pronunciations for many people and place names is unsettling. I'm not sure who may be responsible for preparing the pronunciation key for the narrator needs to do a better job. The Russian city is spelled Archangel NOT Archangle.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Christian P.
  • 2021-02-11

Good book, poor narrator

It is an otherwise good book dragged down by a really boring and dry narration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nicholas
  • 2020-12-06

Must-listen for history buffs

Martin Gilbert's work is remarkable in his ability to be comprehensive on the macro scale but never more than a couple sentences from weaving in the lived experiences of soldiers and civilians on the ground collected from countless diaries and interviews. You *feel* this war alongside understanding it. A master work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JOHN M SNARSKI
  • 2020-10-23

Good perspective history, terrible narrator

This huge story is thoughtfully told by Martin Gilbert and keeps your interest with a combination of grand strategic military topics and personal stories.

The narrator seems determined to mispronounce as many names as he can. Foch, Haig, Archangel and Cavell are just a few. Just occasionally he drops his pompous mispronunciations and uses the correct pronunciation. This is a small issue but it becomes very annoying over the 33 1/2 hours of listening.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-12-30

way too much english bias.not a good read

the narrator was great.the book itself stank.entirely too much "england is great"sentiment that isnt deserved.england could have done way more to stop this and didnt and at versailles the allies could have prevented hitlers rise by not being short sighted and selfish.the allies really dropped a lot of balls before and after the war

1 person found this helpful