• The Vanquished

  • Why the First World War Failed to End
  • By: Robert Gerwarth
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (205 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In The Vanquished, a highly original and gripping work of history, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western Front that proved so ruinous to Europe's future but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were savaged by revolutions, pogroms, mass expulsions, and further major military clashes. If the war itself had in most places been a struggle mainly between state-backed soldiers, these new conflicts were predominantly perpetrated by civilians and paramilitaries and driven by a murderous sense of injustice projected onto enemies real and imaginary. In the years immediately after the armistice, millions would die across central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe before the Soviet Union and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states would come into being. It was here, in the ruins of Europe, that extreme ideologies such as fascism would take shape. 

As absorbing in its drama as it is unsettling in its analysis, The Vanquished is destined to transform our understanding of not just the First World War but the 20th century as a whole. 

©2016 Robert Gerwarth (P)2016 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Gerwarth's fascinating and finely crafted book is a rich combination of military, political, cultural and social history...an impressive work of highly accessible scholarship." (The Irish Times)

What listeners say about The Vanquished

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  • Overall
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little-known period following WWI is illuminated

great, detailed, and thorough book re Eastern and Central Europe and its revolutions and wars

7 people found this helpful

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Very interesting

I found this book really thought provoking . It lays out the case that world war 1 never really ended and just paused before war broke out once again. The world is still dealing the the effects of this conflict

5 people found this helpful

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For those who would know

An interesting, of not un-biased, account of the unrest, suffering, and pain of inter-war Europe.

6 people found this helpful

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Unfulfilled promise

The book promises so much and delivers so little. The promise of an untold story immediately descends into the millionth retelling of the fall of the Russian czar, told with all the brio of an encyclopedia article, delivered in a tedious monotone. I tried skipping ahead to sample future chapters but this would be a dangerous book to listen to while driving a car. It’s all summary, no detail.

1 person found this helpful

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Vanquished - will there ever be unity?

It was a very informative book about how politically fractured, especially, white Europe was and caused the countries they've touched since WWI to be. It gave great detail to how Russia, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire fought and failed to retain their borders or increase their borders and peoples. But I do not understand why the author refused to write the word Istanbul, though he referred to other cities by their several names.. curious. Kept calling it Constantinople... but it hasn't been that since the 15th century ?!

5 people found this helpful

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Great overview

Great overview of the post-WWI scene in Europe. Wonderfully narrated. Only complaint is that it was too short (though to do justice to the period and regions, it would have to be three times as long, which then might make it a bit of a slog to listen). A great weekend listening if you are into WWI though. Perfect for that weird uncle.

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Outstanding

Brilliant and eye-opening book. The Audible narration is also excellent. A highly recommended historical analysis.

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awesome book

interesting black on a very little studied and understood post-war history of a vanquished Europe

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informative and compelling read

It kept my attention throughout and I learned a lot about a time that influenced my parents' generation and a time whose influence, it appears, is still being felt to this day.