The War That Changed the World: The Forgotten War That Set the Stage for the Global Conflicts of the 20th Century and Beyond (英語) ペーパーバック – 2009/8/24
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Between 1870 and 1871, the world changed forever. The Franco-Prussian War is often a forgotten war, its significance lost amidst larger conflicts such as the Napoleonic Wars and World War I. But, while it lasted less than a year, its aftermath would shape the course of history for decades to come. In this comprehensive and epic account, John-Allen Price explores how this short but far-reaching war came to be, bringing the men who shaped history to life. Price examines the Franco-Prussian War and its world, from the seeds of the war in the Age of Napoleon to the Paris Commune, and the aftershocks that led to a century of slaughter, a war to end all wars, and an even greater war after that. "John-Allen Price's *The War that Changed the World* is a brilliantly written and exhaustively researched masterwork. With all the attention to detail one would expect of Keegan or Ambrose, Price has created a stunningly entertaining and thorough examination of an historical era which shaped the conflicts of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Price's examination of the Franco-Prussian war is engrossing, entertaining and delightfully readable presented with a historian's eye for detail and a novelist's ear for story. Students of military history pass this book by at their peril." - New York Times Bestselling Author Michael A. Stackpole "
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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.
it is full of poor grammar, misspellings, typos, and partial sentences.
it cries out for an editor.
the author constantly switches between past-tense narration and present-tense story-telling.
i have never seen this oddity in any history book.
the author somehow manages to misspell words equally in german, french, and english.
i have no criticism of his themes, which are well-developed, or of his presentation of factual details, which is interesting.
i did learn a lot about the franco-prussian war.
but on the whole the book seems written by someone who got Ds or Fs in his english classes.
these 100s of errors of every kind mar the entire text.