In this review of a new book entitled The Great Class War 1914-1918, you can ignore Petersen's gratuitous moralism about "great" as used as an adjective in reference to wars. Instead focus on the author's use of the word "great", connoting "major" as applied to class war. As such the book appears to offer an alternative and accurate way to view the history of this war as a class war instead of obscuring this reality by presenting it as various nations gloriously clashing for dominance that one gets in conventional histories. The book appears to offer an antidote to the usual brainwashing we experience while treading through capitalist ideological muck of conventional ideological institutions, especially education.
Pauwels presents the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand as a pretext for war. However, the war was launched by elitists1 who feared the hoi polloi eating into profits by forming unions and demanding higher wages, and demanding greater democracy. There was also competition among nation states to grab colonies and gain economic advantage. The elitists believed that a war would crush revolutionary zeal, aspirations for democracy, and replace socialism with nationalism.