`Thundering, magnificent ... a book of true greatness that prompts moments of sheer joy and pleasure. Researched to the last possible dot ... It will earn generations of admirers.' Washington Times 'Masterful - has an instructive value than can scarcely be measured' Los Angeles Times 'Accomplished with brio, the author blends foreground, background, and sidelights to highlight the complex interactions of apparently unconnected events.' Publishers Weekly (starred review) `A masterful narrative history that eloquently conveys the sense of a civilization engaged in massive self-destruction ... Meyer offers interesting and controversial insights into the motivations of many of the key participants. This is an outstanding survey of a cataclysm that still casts a shadow over world affairs.' Booklist This remarkable account tells the story of the last thre years of the First World War, which left the great powers of the Nineteenth Century shattered at the beginning of the Twentieth, and their people exhausted and depleted, amid the cost of millions of young lives. After the early optimism, the war had become a catastrophe for all sides. This volume charts some of the lowest points of the conflict, but also shows how a victory was finally won out of the stalemate, at a cost that was unimaginable to earlier generations. This is one of the great narrative histories of modern war and will reward anyone new or well-read in the subject.