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The First World War, which began in Europe in 1914, stunned the world. For the first time since the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the entire continent was at war. Nearly every country would join one of the two alliances. But for America in 1914 the war was a distant matter. This book was typical of publications made for Americans to explain the war in far-away Europe. They were often profusely illustrated with photographs of the tools of war, some new and terrifying like the submarine, others already obsolete like the cavalry. The two text excerpts here are revealing:"Austria's Civilizing Mission" is frank in Austria's desire for a constantly expanding empire to the east while "The Effect of the War on the United States" is remarkably correct when it notes that "no matter who wins-all nations involved will be the real losers." Europe emerged from the war nearly bankrupt.