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KLIATTThese two books are touted on their dust jackets as outstanding one-volume histories of WW I and both are written by British historians. Strachan's book entitled The First World War is clearly the more accessible of the two, written in a breezier style, with helpful photographs dotting every few pages (and a great set of maps in the beginning); it is also briefer (the type font is not especially small, either). Stevenson's book entitled Cataclysm: the First World War as Political Tragedy is knottier and more academic in style and nearly 500 pages long (with a smaller, less inviting typeface). Stevenson's chapter titles are simply descriptive; Strachan's are more metaphorically allusive (a mark against it, actually—just what, you wonder, is in that chapter.) Both have good end notes, though Stevenson's book, not surprisingly, has a more carefully detailed index. A school looking for one new book on the subject would most likely want the shorter, punchier one. Neither makes as bold a reappraisal of events as fellow Brit Niall Ferguson did a few years back with Pity of War, but they each have a key selling point: Strachan leads directly from the war then to the world now (especially in the Middle East), while Stevenson carefully probes motives and context for key actions throughout the conflict in a way that sheds new light on each element. For libraries building a rich collection on the topic for student research, both books would be useful additions. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students and adults. 2004, Basic Books, 564p. illus. maps., Ages 17 to adult.