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  • He writes so well and sympathetically, and chooses his detail so deftly, that if there is one new history of the war that you might actually enjoy from the very large centennial selection this is very likely it

    The Times
  • A fine introduction to the part Britain played in the first of the worst two wars in history. The writing is lively and the detail often surprising and memorable

  • Incisive, colourful. Paxman delves into every aspect of British life to capture the mood and morale of the nation - from the corridors of power to the factory shop floor

    Daily Express ****
  • Clever, laconic and racy. Paxman gets the balance right between political, military, economic and cultural points of view. There is a judicious mix between individual stories and the 'bigger picture' ... a book that engages the minds and emotions

  • A procession of fascinating details ... he narrates with brio ... conveys the texture of the times ... write[s] with clarity and sympathy

  • Paxman is particularly good ... in showing how much a modern perspective distorts our understanding ... summarises well how class barriers were shattered ... refreshingly combative in arguing that the war was not futile

  • Mixing pragmatism with sardonic observation ... one is left with a better understanding of how the Great Britain that began the war became more like ordinary Britain, shorn of global power and prestige, by its end

    Sunday Times
  • A beautifully lucid account of the impact of the first World War on the British way of life . . . Blends anecdote with cold fact to create a picture not merely of what happened but also of how it felt to those involved

    Irish Times

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