The First World War
John Keegan (Alfred A. Knopf , 1998)
Perhaps the best of the strictly military summaries, this book does not spend a lot of time on the diplomatic background but is very good at making the military strategy and tactics meaningful. Keegan’s great advantage is that his clear narrative makes it possible to follow and understand the overall picture of the war, which is sometimes very difficult with comparable histories. He does not neglect providing vignettes from the lives of ordinary soldiers, sailors and civilians but does not get bogged down in this. He focuses on the big picture and is enormously skilled at helping the reader to understand this. One cavil – the maps in the text are useless in following Keegan’s narrative.