This is the first truly definitive history of the First World War, the war that has done most to shape the twentieth century. The first generation of its historians had access to only a limited range of sources, and their focus was primarily on military events. More recent approaches have embraced cultural, diplomatic, economic, and social history. In Hew Strachan's authoritative and readable history these fresh perspectives are incorporated with the military and strategic narrative. The result is an account that breaks the bounds of national preoccupations to become both global and comparative. To Arms, the first of three volumes in this magisterial study, examines not only the causes of the war and its opening clashes on land and sea, but also the ideas that underpinned it, and the motivations of the people who supported it. It provides full and pioneering accounts of the war's finances, of the war in Africa, and of the Central Powers' bid to widen the war outside Europe.