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Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged edition of The War of the World by Niall Ferguson, read by Saul Reichlin.

The world at the beginning of the 20th century seemed for most of its inhabitants stable and relatively benign. Globalising, booming economies married to technological breakthroughs seemed to promise a better world for most people.

Instead the 20th century proved to be overwhelmingly the most violent, frightening and brutalised in history, with fanatical, often genocidal warfare engulfing most societies between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of the Cold War.

What went wrong? How did we do this to ourselves? The War of the World comes up with compelling, fascinating answers. It is Niall Ferguson's masterpiece.

©2017 Niall Ferguson (P)2017 Penguin AudioBooks

Critic reviews

"A heartbreaking, serious and thoughtful survey of human evil that is utterly fascinating and dramatic." (Simon Sebag Montefiore, The New York Times)
"Unputdownable, controversial, compelling." ( The Independent on Sunday)
"The grenade lobbed into the cosy tea party of received wisdom." (Max Hastings)

What listeners say about The War of the World

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Not able finish

Although a fan of both non fiction and Niall Ferguson I simply could finish this work. With a book so fact and statistic heavy, the presenter has their work cut out to keep the listener engaged, but in this case they, at least for me, failed as it was simply too monotone and boring.
I also could not go along with a premise that all conflict is racially motivated when so many of the examples used seemed, at least to me, to be more about culture and religion rather than race.
A pity, it is the first book by the author that I simply have not been impressed by and incidentally the first audio book I have given up on.

7 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

A fascinating book which is deals with very difficult subject matter such as genocide and the holocaust. A must read for anyone who wants to learn about the human cost instead of the glamorous side of war

6 people found this helpful

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Genius

Dr Ferguson never lets you down. This should be required reading for every modern history student. Its logical, challenging and sets aside much of what you consider as fact. Get it, and free your attitudes to conflict in this century.

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Excellent book. Well read.

A refreshing look at familiar areas of history.

Ferguson has an uncanny ability to gore sacred cows without seeming disrespectful. Reichlin's reading lends an emphasis and drama to the text arguably necessary for such weighty material in an audiobook.

Thoroughly enjoyable for those already familar with twentieth century history.

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Well that explains it !

Pretty much the modern history of the world and what a bunch of thoroughly awful humans we all are or have the potential to be …..
Watched the tv series about 15 years ago and bought the book at the time . Thanks to audible I’ve now “read” it in a week .

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outstanding

what an amazing detailed insight into the last century of warfare. very informative. an eye-opener.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-18

Just another history of WW2

Scholarly and well written, but ultimately just a rehash of the same old WW2 stuff historians have been churning out for decades.

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  • Jakub
  • 21-12-17

Great to listen mediocre history book

I had a good time listening to the book but mostly due to the near perfect narrator. The book itself is well written but in my opinion the analytical insight and revelation it promises in the introduction is missing later on, giving the reader a feeling of dissapointment. It is merley a new rewriting/description of events surrounding the wars of the XX and XXI centuries, rather then an in depth analysis of those events from a novel perspective.

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  • Angus Black
  • 01-08-18

Excellent book. Insightful but not hysterical.

I loved the book but the reader was very irritating. I speeded the delivery to 1.25* and that actually helped a lot.