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The War of the World Paperback – Oct 30 2007


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The War of the World + The Pity Of War Explaining World War I + Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (Oct. 30 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143112392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143112396
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.8 x 4.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Volpone on Jan. 9 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ferguson makes clear, very clear, that the inauguration of the 20th century was an unnecessary, baseless and monumentally destructive World War that could have been avoided. From there, he traces its consequences to the end of his book. You will have to judge for yourself how far he wanders away from his main thesis, or even if he does. The narrative leading up to the next World War is clarifying as well as edifying, to say the least.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelsi on Feb. 19 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Niall Ferguson's writing, he always manages to include really interesting facts that keep my attention throughout the book. His arguments are effective as well.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Dagley on May 15 2007
Format: Hardcover
Niall Ferguson begins "The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West" with a simple question - what made the twentieth century, particularly the period between 1912 to 1953, the most bloody period in human history?

The thesis seems well thought out and Ferguson has ample amount of supporting evidence to support his ideas, but his thoughts become disjointed as his narrative moves forward - losing most of its touch as the book nears its close. The goal one assumes Ferguson is making his way towards throughout is that the large decades long conflict was a herald of a shift of power away from the west and towards the east where in succession Japan and then China made vast steps in catching up with their more advanced neighbours. The final Epilogue seems almost anti-climatic, serving as only a mild movement towards the current political situation following the September 11th terrorist attacks, a movement that while helping to place the book into a modern context, does nothing to help stimulate the east-west dynamic which had so much unused potential. Simply put Ferguson doesn't manage to put together all the threads he put forward at the outset, leading to a book that comes off as half-finished.
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