cover of book

Pandora’s Box: A History of the First World War
by Jörn Leonhard
translated by Patrick Camiller
Harvard University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-674-24480-1 | eISBN: 978-0-674-98542-1 | Cloth: 978-0-674-54511-3
Library of Congress Classification D521.L36513 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 940.3


Winner of the Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Prize

“The best large-scale synthesis in any language of what we currently know and understand about this multidimensional, cataclysmic conflict.”
—Richard J. Evans, Times Literary Supplement

In this monumental history of the First World War, Germany’s leading historian of the period offers a dramatic account of its origins, course, and consequences. Jörn Leonhard treats the clash of arms with a sure feel for grand strategy. He captures the slow attrition, the race for ever more destructive technologies, and the grim experiences of frontline soldiers. But the war was more than a military conflict and he also gives us the perspectives of leaders, intellectuals, artists, and ordinary men and women around the world as they grappled with the urgency of the moment and the rise of unprecedented political and social pressures. With an unrivaled combination of depth and global reach, Pandora’s Box reveals how profoundly the war shaped the world to come.

“[An] epic and magnificent work—unquestionably, for me, the best single-volume history of the war I have ever read…It is the most formidable attempt to make the war to end all wars comprehensible as a whole.”
—Simon Heffer, The Spectator

“[A] great book on the Great War…Leonhard succeeds in being comprehensive without falling prey to the temptation of being encyclopedic. He writes fluently and judiciously.”
—Adam Tooze, Die Zeit

“Extremely readable, lucidly structured, focused, and dynamic…Leonhard’s analysis is enlivened by a sharp eye for concrete situations and an ear for the voices that best convey the meaning of change for the people and societies undergoing it.”
—Christopher Clark, author of The Sleepwalkers

See other books on: Camiller, Patrick | First World War | Western | World War I | World War, 1914-1918
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