Not so much a history as a series of snapshots, a book you can read in any order you want, and which is packed with fascinating – sometimes completely unexpected – information. The trenches and tanks and gas attacks were nothing new. But ration cards, the Zimmerman telegram and the use of carrier pigeons – to pick just three – were subjects I knew very little about. So while this may look brisk and superficial, once you’ve finished it you’ll know a lot more about WW1 than you did before you started. And because the subjects are so wide-ranging, you’ll see it as something that affected a world, and more ways of life than those of the men (and women) in the trenches. All history books should be so interesting.