A Short History of the First World War

Pages: 256
Subject: History
Imprint: Oneworld

A Short History of the First World War

Gary Sheffield

All you need to know about WW1 from one of the world's foremost experts

9781780743646 (4 Sep 2014)
RRP £8.99 / US$14.99

The Book

The First World War was a watershed in world history. Tragic but far from futile, its origins, events and legacy have roused impassioned debate, creating multiple interpretations and confusion for those encountering the period for the first time.

Synthesising the latest scholarship, acclaimed historian Gary Sheffield cuts to the heart of the conflict. He explores such key issues as:

- the causes of war
- the great battles on land, sea and in the air
- the search for the peace and peace settlements
- the political, social and economic consequences
- the impact of 'total war' on the belligerents and the individual
- and the place of the Great War in the history of warfare

Accessible and authoritative, this is the ultimate introduction for anyone wanting a clear understanding of what happened and why.

Additional Information

Subject History
Pages 256
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Gary Sheffield is Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. He is President of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and a Vice President of the Western Front Association. He has published widely on the First World War and regularly broadcasts on television and radio as well as contributing to numerous journals, magazines and newspapers. Previous books include the acclaimed Forgotten Victory and The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army, which was shorlisted for the presigious Duke of Westminster's Medal.


‘In a book all the more impressive for its brevity, Gary Sheffield covers a remarkable amount of ground, from the war's causes to its consequences.’

- Michael Neiberg, Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi

‘One of Britain’s foremost historians of the Great War offers here a clear and concise account of the great catastrophe of the 20th Century. Drawing on an enormous knowledge of secondary literature combined with many years of immersion in the archives, the result is a masterful mix of narrative and analysis that will prove both provocative and stimulating.’

- Jeffrey Grey, Professor of History, UNSW Canberra

‘Professor Gary Sheffield, one of the leading figures in the field, turns his considerable talent to providing the most up-to-date view of this most controversial of conflicts.  The result is history at its very best; masterfully written, engaging, and thought provoking.’

- Andrew Wiest, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society, University of Southe

‘A compelling and original account that should become a set text for anyone wanting to understand the events of 1914-18.’

- James Holland, bestselling author of The Battle of Britain and Dam Busters

‘An excellent introduction to this vast subject which will be accessible to those beginning to study the conflict as well as a stimulating read for more experienced scholars.’

- Brian Bond, Emeritus Professor of Military History, Kings College, London

‘The best short history of World War One that is currently available’

- Jeremy Black, Professor of History, University of Exeter

‘Gary Sheffield is one of Britain's foremost historians of the First World War - insightful, original and superbly informed.'

- Max Hastings

'[An]iconoclastic tour de force.'

- Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph on Forgotten Victory


- Sir Michael Howard on Forgotten Victory

'Well written and persuasive …objective and well-rounded... This scholarly rehabilitation should be the standard biography of Haig.'

- Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday on The Chief

'Solid scholarship and admirable advocacy.'

- Sunday Telegraph on The Chief