The First World War is hardly a neglected subject of historical research, yet most of these histories proceed within two main assumptions: that the war began with the sounding of the “guns of August” in 1914 and ended with the Armistice of 11 November 1918; and that the war was primarily one of nation-states, and largely a European affair.Both assumptions have dominated and defined the historiography of the Great War for decades. While the literature based on these assumptions has produced excellent results and vastly improved our knowledge of the causes and consequences of that conflict, this volume proceeds from two premises that diverge from these assumptions. The first, that it pays to examine the Great War within a frame both longer (temporally) and wider (spatially) than it typically is. The second, that we should see the war not merely as a war between nation-states, but as a war of empires.
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