World War I
The Essential Reference Guide
by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
May 2016, 397pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4121-7
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4122-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The impact of World War I is still being felt today, especially in the Middle East.

With its authoritative reference entries, multiple introductory and perspective essays, primary source documents, detailed chronology, and bibliography, this single-volume reference provides all the key information readers need to understand this monumental conflict.

World War I was an epic conflict that toppled centuries-old empires, transformed the Middle East and Russia, and helped elevate the United States to prominence as a world power. In essence, understanding the reasons for and outcomes of the First World War provides a cornerstone for knowledge of all modern history. In World War I: The Essential Reference Guide, detailed reference entries, a comprehensive overview essay, plus additional examinations of the causes and consequences of the conflict provide readers with the context needed to understand all aspects of World War I.

Important primary source documents like the Zimmerman Telegram and Balfour Declaration are included and accompanied by explanations that supply readers with key historical perspective. Biographies on major political and military leaders, such as Wilhelm II, Woodrow Wilson, Nicholas II, John Pershing, and Ferdinand Foch, offer insight into the people who played key roles in the conflict. Entries on the key confrontations of the war—many accompanied by maps—showcase the strategies of both sides in their attempts to emerge victorious, and the bibliography presents a wealth of options to students looking to conduct further research on World War I.


  • Includes perspective essays on such widely debated topics as what was the primary cause of World War I and whether the conflict made World War II inevitable
  • Supplies important primary source documents—such as the Balfour Declaration and the Zimmermann Telegram—that serve to put historical events into clearer context for students
  • Provides essential reference material for students, including entries on all the key events, people, and organizations, as well as a detailed chronology, key images, and maps
Spencer C. Tucker retired in 2003 after 36 years of university teaching, the last six as holder of the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute. He is currently Senior Fellow in Military History for ABC-CLIO Publishing. He has written or edited 57 books or encyclopedias treating military and naval history, a number of which have won important awards. Among his works is the five-volume set World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection.


"With clearly written prose and a range of resources, Tucker’s book lives up to its title claim as an essential reference guide for high school and college students looking for a start to a research project or any reader who is seeking a better understanding of the Great War and its ramifications."—Booklist, July 20, 2016

"[A]n engaging collection of historical dilemma essays that will be handy for students deliberating over possible research topics. This reference guide is expressly designed and useful for . . . preliminary research and topic discovery for academic papers. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, February 1, 2017

Top Community College Resource, February 2017—Choice, February 28, 2017
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