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Download War of Attrition: Fighting the First World War Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample War of Attrition: Fighting the First World War, by Derek Perkins, William Philpott Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Derek Perkins, William Philpott Narrator: Derek Perkins Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Great War of 1914–1918 was the first mass conflict to fully mobilize the resources of industrial powers against one another, resulting in a brutal, bloody, protracted war of attrition between the world’s great economies. Now, one hundred years after the first guns of August rang out on the Western front, historian William Philpott reexamines the causes and lingering effects of the first truly modern war.

Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, politicians, and diplomats, War of Attrition explains for the first time why and how this new type of conflict was fought as it was fought; and how the attitudes and actions of political and military leaders, and the willing responses of their peoples, stamped the twentieth century with unprecedented carnage on—and behind—the battlefield.

War of Attrition also establishes link between the bloody ground war in Europe and political situation in the wider world, particularly the United States. America did not enter the war until 1917, but, as Philpott demonstrates, the war came to America as early as 1914. By 1916, long before the Woodrow Wilson’s impassioned speech to Congress advocating for war, the United States was firmly aligned with the Allies, lending dollars and selling guns and opposing German attempts to spread submarine warfare. War of Attrition skillfully argues that the emergence of the United States on the world stage is directly related to her support for the conflagration that consumed so many European lives and livelihoods. In short, the war that ruined Europe enabled the rise of America.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Derek Perkins…keeps the audiobook moving, narrating with unflagging intelligence and energy, aided by his clear and incisive British accent and excellent pacing. His modulations of tone and emphasis express the meanings of the text and help keep places, events, people, and concepts across several continents and four years effortlessly clear for the listener. His pronunciation of foreign names and words, especially German, is good.”


  • “An astute examination by an expert war historian that sifts through the collective ‘theatres of attrition’ in this unprecedented slaughter.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “William Philpott has written an incisive, colorful book that details the race by both sides first to understand and then to master a long war of attrition that had been planned by every power as a short war of annihilation. War of Attrition succeeds both as an argument and as a gripping narrative of the dreadful process by which the armies (and navies) swerved from the objective of breaking though to that of killing men in a vast, globe-spanning war of exhaustion.”

    Geoffrey Wawro, author of A Mad Catastrophe and director of the University of North Texas Military History Center

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