‘If Downton Abbey still colours your impression of what Britain was like on the cusp of the First World War, 1913 could be a useful corrective’ Scotsman
2018 marks the centenary of the end of the Great War. What was the year before the war really like?
1913 is usually seen as little more than the antechamber to apocalypse. Our images of the times are too often dominated by last summers of upper-class indulgence or by a world rushing headlong into the abyss of an inevitable war.
1913: The World before the Great War proposes a strikingly different portrait: told through the stories of twenty-three cities – Europe’s capitals at the height of their global reach, the emerging metropolises of America, the imperial cities of Asia and Africa, the boomtowns of Australia and the Americas – Charles Emmerson presents a panoramic view of a world crackling with possibilities, from St Petersburg to Shanghai and from Los Angeles to Jerusalem. What emerges is a rich and complex world, more familiar than we expect, connected as never before, on the threshold of events which would change the course of global history.
‘A masterful, comprehensive portrait of the world at that last moment in its history...’ Spectator