The Abyss

The Abyss

World War I and the End of the First Age of Globalization–A Selection from The War of the World (Penguin Tracks)

Format
ePub
Price
$3.99
 
Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781101616208
  • 304  Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

Excerpted from Niall Ferguson’s sprawling bestseller The War of the World, The Abyss now stands on its own as one of the most thrilling short histories of World War I ever written. This is not a conventional military history about battles and generals. Rather, The Abyss examines how World War I saw the birth of total war—fought between societies as much as armies—and must therefore be understood in terms of the financial crises it unleashed, the multinational empires it destroyed, and the hateful ideas it propagated.

The most remarkable thing about the war, Ferguson shows us, is how shockingly unexpected it was. At a time when economic integration and technology seemed to be rendering war between great powers impossible, World War I was the moment when that process went into reverse and the lethal forces of ethnic disintegration took over. Now, on the cusp of the 100th anniversary of its outbreak, we can see World War I as much more than just four years of industrialized slaughter. Weaving together the economics of empire and the ideology of race—and featuring an original preface by the author as well a teaser from his new paperback CivilizationThe Abyss is world history at its finest.

Praise

“A heartbreaking, serious and thoughtful survey of human evil that is utterly fascinating and dramatic . . . superb narrative history.”
-The New York Times Book Review

“Ferguson’s best book, by far, since The Pity of War . . . from bond markets to the face of battle, he has returned to the themes of his earlier book and to his strengths.”
-Paul Kennedy, The New York Review of Books

“Wielding at once the encyclopedic knowledge of an accomplished scholar and the engaging prose of a master storyteller, Ferguson commendably brings fresh insights to a history by now familiar. . . . A tour de force.”
-San Francisco Chronicle

“Even those who have read widely in 20th-century history will find fresh, surprising details.”
-The Boston Globe

“A fascinating read, thanks to Ferguson’s gifts as a writer of clear, energetic narrative history.”
-The Washington Post

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