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A History of the First World War

By John Buchan

With thrillers such as ‘The 39 Steps’ and ‘Greenmantle’ John Buchan was the greatest adventure writer of the First World War.

But he was also one of the most accomplished historians of the conflict.

Vivid and authoritative, John Buchan’s masterly history of the First World War was written while the war was still in progress.

While admirably cool in tone, it has the immediacy of fine journalism. Its briskly moving narrative charts the progress of the war in all the main theaters of action, including what must surely be the very first history of war in the air.

The military historian Victor Neuburg has abridged the work into a single volume, selecting key passages of the original to build up a panoramic view of the war as it unfolded, concentrating on the Western Front.

While John Buchan’s novels of the First World War, such as ‘Greenmantle’, have continued to be read, his history of the war has been unfairly neglected. It ranks among his finest achievements, and remains one of the clearest and best accounts we have of the world-shaking conflict of 1914-18.


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