Hall Center For The Humanities


Max Hastings
Author, journalist, & broadcaster

"Catastrophe 1914"
Special Events

Wed., Nov. 13, 2013, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Co-sponsored by European Studies & the Hall Center
Location: Lied Center Pavilion

World War I evokes images of the trenches: grinding, halting battles that sacrificed millions of lives for no territory or visible gain. Yet the first months of the war, from the German invasion of Belgium to the Marne to Ypres, were utterly different, full of advances and retreats, tactical maneuvering, and significant gains and losses. In Catastrophe 1914, Max Hastings recreates this dramatic year, from the diplomatic crisis to the fighting in Belgium and France on the western front, and Serbia and Galicia to the east. He gives vivid accounts of the battles and frank assessments of generals and political leaders, and shows why it was inevitable that the first war among modern industrial nations could not produce a decisive victory, resulting in a war of attrition. Throughout the reader encounters high officials and average soldiers, as well as civilians on the home front, giving a vivid portrait of how a continent became embroiled in a war that would change everything.

Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He now writes regularly for the Daily Mail and Financial Times, of which he is a contributing editor, and reviews books for the Sunday Times and New York Review of Books. He has published twenty-three books, including All Hell Let Loose (2011); Finest Years: Churchill As Warlord 1940-45 (2009); Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-45 (2004) and Nemesis: The Battle for Japan 1944-45 (2007).

This lecture is part of a campus-wide collaboration to commemorate the centennial of the First World War. Look for more events sponsored by the Hall Center, other campus units, and community partners over the next four years as KU and the surrounding community explore the war and its impact.

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