Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Jeremy Paxman's Great Britain's Great War.
Read by the actor Roy McMillan, this magnificent history of the First World War tells the story of the war in one gripping narrative from the point of view of the British people. We may think we know about it, but what was life really like for the British people during the First World War? The well-known images - the pointing finger of Lord Kitchener; a Tommy buried in the mud of the Western Front; the memorial poppies of remembrance day - all reinforce the idea that it was a pointless waste of life. So why did the British fight it so willingly and how did the country endure it for so long?
Using a wealth of first-hand source material, Jeremy Paxman brings vividly to life the day-to-day experience of the British over the entire course of the war, from politicians, newspapermen, campaigners and Generals, to Tommies, factory workers, nurses, wives and children, capturing the whole mood and morale of the nation.
It reveals that life and identity in Britain were often dramatically different from our own, and show how both were utterly transformed - not always for the worst - by the enormous upheaval of the war. Rich with personalities, surprises and ironies, this lively narrative history paints a picture of courage and confusion, doubts and dilemmas, and is written with Jeremy Paxman's characteristic flair for storytelling, wry humour and pithy observation.
Jeremy Paxman is a renowned broadcaster, award-winning journalist and the bestselling author of seven works of non-fiction, including The English, The Political Animal and Empire.
"Paxman is witty, incisive, acerbic and opinionated... In short, he carries the whole thing off with panache bordering on effrontery" (Sunday Times) "He writes with wit and penetration, and every page can be read with relaxed pleasure" (Spectator)
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Highly accessible social history of the Great War
- Bromide Badger
Well read and well researched
Enlightening and moving
Both my grandfathers served and survived in that war and to be honest I had no idea what they had gone through, if nothing else Paxman's book certainly clarified that with descriptions of trench life and death. The social comment on that period of time is fascinating a very different world of duty to King and country compared to now. The book also deals with life after the war and the very different place Britain and her empire had become. There does not seem to be much doubt in Paxman's mind this war is the beginning of the end of the British Empire and perhaps the UK itself. I found this an excellent book and will probably revisit again.
- M. G. Penfold