This book was a really interesting look at the political climate in Europe before and during World War I. It goes beyond the battles and astronomical losses of life to look at the events that led up to the war and the political and military thinking that led to the rise of trench warfare that locked the Western Front in a stalemate for four years. The book deals with two groups - the generals and politicians plotting, scheming and fighting the war and the (mostly) civilian group who opposed the war and the existing political structure. At times, it seems oversimplified; those on the political right were in favor of imperialism and the war, those on the the left supported socialism and opposed the war. Later in the book, some people's positions change, but I would have liked to see some more diversity in the two broad groups. The book does a good job detailing how the war ripped families apart based on political differences and gives the reader a behind the scenes look at the civilian population, which is something that a lot of war history books gloss over. The book is also mainly focused on the European countries and their empires. The American involvement is very briefly discussed in the last 50 to 75 pages, so if you're looking for a history of the American experience in World War I, this is not the book for you.Overall, I liked this book. I think it presented a very different take on World War I and I understand a lot more about the history, politics and warfighting strategy that existed in the run up to and during the war. I also really liked that it showed the people who were against the war and treated them not as cowards, but as people who disagreed with the ruling party politically and were often very harshly punished for their beliefs. I saw a lot of parallels between their treatment and the jingoistic way that Fox News and some other media outlets talk about people who opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2002/2003. It's a good reminder that the vast majority of people who oppose war (in general) are not anti-military or don't support the troops and that often, the people who are most outspoken about opposing a war are the people doing the most to help and support the men that fight and their families.