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The Great War scarred both the people and the popular imagination of Europe. No previous war matched it in scale, brutality and futility. The course of events has been told many times, spurred by an endless desire to understand 'the war to end all wars'. However this impressive book moves beyond military narrative to offer a much fuller analysis of the conflict's impact: strategic, political, social and cultural. Starting with the context and origins of the war, including assassination, misunderstanding and differing national war-aims, it then covers the treacherous course of the conflict and its social consequences: #Mobilisation had a massive impact both on soldiers and female civilians, producing radical changes to people's way of life which stimulated political change #Science and technology created a new brand of industrialised warfare and were accelerated by the imperative of victory # The insecurity and strain of war created dissidence and mutiny, engendering revolution in Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia. The war left a long-term legacy for victors and vanquished alike. It created new frontiers and changed the balance of power, influenced the arts, national memory and political thought. The reach of this account is global, showing how a conflict amongst European powers came to involve their colonial empires, and embrace Japan, China, the Ottoman Empire, Latin America and the United States. This is a bold and original book, offering a thematic study of a war that was famously, and quite rightly, labelled as 'the seminal event of the twentieth century'. Ian Beckett is Professor of History, Luton University, UK.