• Sign In
  • Help
  • My Basket0
Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardback)
  • Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardback)
zoom

Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Hardback)

(author)
2 Reviews Sign in to write a review
£30.00
Hardback 672 Pages / Published: 12/09/2013
  • Publisher out of stock

Currently unavailable to order

This product is only available to collect in store.

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect

Check Marketplace availability

The Amazon History Book of the Year 2013 is a magisterial chronicle of the calamity that befell Europe in 1914 as the continent shifted from the glamour of the Edwardian era to the tragedy of total war.

In 1914, Europe plunged into the 20th century's first terrible act of self-immolation- what was then called The Great War. On the eve of its centenary, Max Hastings seeks to explain both how the conflict came about and what befell millions of men and women during the first months of strife.

He finds the evidence overwhelming, that Austria and Germany must accept principal blame for the outbreak. While what followed was a vast tragedy, he argues passionately against the `poets' view', that the war was not worth winning. It was vital to the freedom of Europe, he says, that the Kaiser's Germany should be defeated.

His narrative of the early battles will astonish those whose images of the war are simply of mud, wire, trenches and steel helmets. Hastings describes how the French Army marched into action amid virgin rural landscapes, in uniforms of red and blue, led by mounted officers, with flags flying and bands playing. The bloodiest day of the entire Western war fell on 22 August 1914, when the French lost 27,000 dead. Four days later, at Le Cateau the British fought an extraordinary action against the oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost they held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres.

The author also describes the brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where by Christmas the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs had inflicted on each other three million casualties.

This book offers answers to the huge and fascinating question `what happened to Europe in 1914?', through Max Hastings's accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts from a multitude of statesmen and generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations. His narrative pricks myths and offers some striking and controversial judgements. For a host of readers gripped by the author's last international best-seller All Hell Let Loose, this will seem a worthy successor.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780007398577
Number of pages: 672
Weight: 1080 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 45 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

BOOK OF THE YEAR - AS CHOSEN BY THE INDEPENDENT, FINANCIAL TIMES, OBSERVER, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT AND SPECTATOR.

`Like one of Field Marshal Haig's family whiskies, Max Hastings is a dram that steadily improves with age ... His position as Britain's leading military historian is now unassailable ... In this enormously impressive new book, Hastings effortlessly masters the complex lead-up to and opening weeks of the First World War ... [He] is as magisterial as we would expect ... This is a magnificent and deeply moving book, and with Max Hastings as our guide we are in the hands of a master' Nigel Jones, Telegraph

`Max Hastings easily saw off his rivals in the battle for the first world war centenary market ... Catastrophe was old-fashioned military history, shamefully readable' Observer

`Magnificent ... Hastings writes with an enviable grasp of pace and balance, as well as an acute eye for human detail. Even for readers who care nothing for the difference between a battalion and a division, his book is at once moving, provocative and utterly engrossing' Sunday Times

`Masterly ... Hastings is a brilliant guide to that strange, febrile twilight before Europe plunged into darkness. Writing in pungent prose suffused with irony and underpinned by a strong sense of moral outrage ... this is history-writing at its best, scholarly and fluent ... for anyone wanting to understand how that ghastly, much-misunderstood conflict came about, there could be no better place to start than this fine book' The Times

`One could scarcely ask for a better guide to these horrors than Max Hastings ... he is a superb writer with a rare gift for evoking the rhythm, mood and raw physical terror of battle ... If you are looking for a humane and compelling interpretive chronicle of the formative months of this horrific conflict, you will find none better' Mail on Sunday

`Very readable. Character, pace, sense of landscape, battlefield detail - all are superbly done ... it's a splendid read' Observer

You may also be interested in...

Lenin on the Train
Added to basket
Storm of Steel
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
Behind the Lawrence Legend
Added to basket
£25.00   £21.99
Hardback
The First World War
Added to basket
The Fall of the Ottomans
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
The Vanquished
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
Testament Of Youth
Added to basket
£14.99   £11.99
Paperback
The Last Battle
Added to basket
£25.00   £21.99
Hardback
The Sleepwalkers
Added to basket
Aftermath
Added to basket
£19.99
Paperback
Passchendaele
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Gallipoli
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
The Shortest History of Germany
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
The War that Ended Peace
Added to basket

Reviews

View all

“Catastrophe”

From the fascinating, complicated and often selfish reasons for the war starting (not just as simple as Franz Ferdinand getting shot), through to the early battles of the war, Hastings creates a rivetting and... More

Paperback edition
31st January 2014
Helpful? Upvote 58
Richard Watson

“Read to avoid disappointment”

You will not be disappointed if you read Max Hasting's account of the opening and first months of the First World War. It helps that this is the most exciting period, when the campaign flowed freely and the... More

Paperback edition
25th April 2014
Helpful? Upvote 20

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.