In this highly original, gripping book, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western front which proved so ruinous to Europe's future but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were wrecked by revolution, pogroms, mass expulsions and further major military clashes. If the war itself had in most places been a struggle purely between state-backed soldiers, these new conflicts were mainly about civilians and paramilitaries, and millions of people died across Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe before the USSR and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states came into being. Everywhere there were vengeful people, their lives racked by a murderous sense of injustice, looking for the opportunity to take retribution against enemies real and imaginary. Only a decade later, the rise of the Third Reich and other totalitarian states provided them with the opportunity they had been looking for.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Elaine on 04-01-17
A most enjoyable book. Succinct, well written, informative on a tangled era of european history.
Only negative is its sometimes prolonged and possibly unnecessary descriptions of extreme violence.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Mr on 15-12-16
Now I get why there are so many problems in our world
Wow. A comprehensive study of the violent chaos in Europe and beyond following the cessation of hostilities on the western front. Real and direct resonance with the causes of today's turmoil in these same areas.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful