I bought this book because I had just finished Emil Ludwig's biography of Bismarck and was looking for something recent about the Franco-Prussian War. I was struck by its title, because the Franco-Prussian War did indeed change the world.
There is no doubt that the author has picked an extremely important event to describe and one that does not receive the attention it deserves. His introduction is to the point and well written: "The Forgotten Wars, and Why We Should Remember Them." He sets the stage by describing the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars and the evolution of the Concert of Europe, and the subsequent rise of Prussia to European dominance. The rest of the book appears to be well organized and thorough, a clear and exciting narrative of events.
However, almost every page seems to contain a major error in grammar or usage that sticks out like a sore thumb. While reading, I notice the errors and begin to analyze them, and then lose interest in the narrative. Good writing should be transparent, not a barrier to communication between author and reader. In this the author doesn't succeed, unfortunately. He pays his respects to his editor in the acknowledgements, but the editor must have been asleep when he allowed a paragraph like the following on p. 18 to slip into the text:
"Many historians, also novelists, poets and playwrights, talk about a great peace/calm/silence settling over Europe after Napoleon departed its shores. Unless they are speaking metaphorically this is not true; not even the fighting died away completely after he left. There was the fate of the artificial kingdoms and thrones he had created. Problems that the Congress of Vienna wrestled with even as the armies converged on each other in southern Belgium."
If you don't see the errors of grammar and usage in this sample, and you enjoy reading history, you will enjoy this book. If you do see them, then be prepared to find errors like these on almost every page.
Writing a book like this took a great deal of time and effort, and the author deserves credit for it. If his editor had encouraged him to polish his writing so that it wasn't a barrier to his readers, I would have given it five stars plus.