‘A breathtaking, magisterial panorama, telling the epic story of post-war anarchy, dying empires and rising nation states. It makes us rethink our understanding of Europe’s twentieth century’ David Motadel, The Times Literary Supplement
For the Western allies 11 November 1918 has always been a solemn date – the end of fighting which had destroyed a generation, and also a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of their principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing, nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country. In this highly original, gripping book Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War.
‘Lucid, incisive and packed with fascinating details’ Financial Times, Books of the Year
‘Important and timely … obliges us to reconsider a period and a battlefront that has too often been neglected’ Margaret MacMillan, The New York Times Review of Books
‘This narrative of continent-wide chaos performs a valuable service by chronicling the postwar turmoil of Europe … helps us understand why few wars reach tidy conclusions’ Max Hastings, Sunday Times
‘Reminds us, in vivid and often shocking detail, that only some countries saw killing end on the 11th day of the 11th month … leaves a sense of foreboding for our own time’ Robert Tombs, The Times