‘If Downton Abbey still colours your impression of what Britain was like on the cusp of the First World War, 1913 could be a useful corrective’ Scotsman
2018 marks the centenary of the end of the Great War. What was the year before the war really like?
1913 is usually seen as little more than the antechamber to apocalypse. Our images of the times are too often dominated by last summers of upper-class indulgence or by a world rushing headlong into the abyss of an inevitable war.
1913: The World before the Great War proposes a strikingly different portrait: told through the stories of twenty-three cities – Europe’s capitals at the height of their global reach, the emerging metropolises of America, the imperial cities of Asia and Africa, the boomtowns of Australia and the Americas – Charles Emmerson presents a panoramic view of a world crackling with possibilities, from St Petersburg to Shanghai and from Los Angeles to Jerusalem. What emerges is a rich and complex world, more familiar than we expect, connected as never before, on the threshold of events which would change the course of global history.
‘A masterful, comprehensive portrait of the world at that last moment in its history…’ Spectator
Every so often a book comes along that simply must be read. 1913 is such a work. Luminous and majestic, rich in detail and stunning in its depth of research, 1913 is a sweeping and haunting portrait of the world on the edge of the precipice… Read this book, but be prepared to stifle at the end of every page an urge to scream out a warning to those long since dead that they must take another road
Charles Emmerson explores an endlessly interesting question: How did the great glossy world of the European Empires come to grief in 1914? This is a most elegantly written book and should stand comparison with the much older classic, Barbara Tuchman’s The Proud Tower
A masterful, comprehensive portrait of the world at that last moment in its history…
If Downton Abbey still colours your impression of what Britain was like on the cusp of the First World War, 1913 could be a useful corrective
One of the great merits of Charles Emmerson’s global panorama is to show events in the months leading up to the summer of 1914 as something other than a precursor to mass slaughter