109 of 131 people found the following review helpful
Untangling the web of how World War I came about, and showing why the narrative of it is relevant to 21st Century policy.,
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This review is from: The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (Kindle Edition)
Clark's major study of a complex topic has been well received across the political spectrum of prominent reviews in Britain where it has just been published.
His style of writing is exceptionally lucid and lively for such interwoven and counterpointed history.
I am one of many I know who has always been puzzled by questions of how the murder/assassination of an ArchDuke in Sarajevo could result in the clash of empires and wars that resulted in the deaths of millions. Clark's latest work, described by the Spectator as the product of indefatigable research into the intimidatingly vast body of sources, offers a balanced and nuanced explanation of a complex and convoluted story. In particular, I value and found much that was new to me in the narrative and analysis of the roles of Serbia, Tsarist Russia and France in perspective with then prevailing views as to the decline of Hapsburg Austria and the Ottoman Empire as great powers.
As Clark regularly affirms, there are aspects of these Balkan, manoeuvres and outcomes that continue to have implications for contemporary European and global policy and the ways in which nations formulate it.
No one who sets out to read this important work will come away from it without respect for the thoroughness and depth of the research, the quality of the writing, and the challenges posed as to the ways in which conflicting national, ethnic and religious interests. I believe that time and a broad readership will endorse the high rating I give the work.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 13, 2013 11:23:02 PM PDT
History Reader says:
Much superior to Clarlk is the equilably extensive but more to data 'Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War' by Max Hastings .
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 6:54:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2013 7:50:31 AM PDT
Rob Scheuerman says:
Hastings is an ardent anglophile who actually believes Britain had a good reason to involve itself. Don't even consider his book if you're looking for a fair and balanced historical work.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2013 7:15:48 PM PDT
P R Munro says:
Clark's work is a relatively exacting investigation of sources relating to the six protagonist nations or power blocs that brought about the conflict at arms; it is painstakingly referenced and I believe illustrates the role and impetus of Serbia against the Austrian and Ottoman empires in a way that informs analysis of both the past and the present. Hasting's work is probably more anglo-oriented, it is not burdened with references and from the start is impatient about getting to the real story, the boots-on-the-ground stages post mobilisation, which is where Clark's work stops. Hastings is an interesting, readable and I thought well written account of some of the same material but I agree that, as a fair and balanced historical work, Clark appeals much more to me; he also makes me think about what lessons are to be learnt from his account of a past that impinges on the roles and motivations of several contemporary players in Baltic and Middle Eastern conflicts.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2013 7:03:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2013 7:03:37 AM PDT
Kenneth D. Watson says:
they are 2 entirely different books which arent remotely comparable
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2013 8:49:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2013 5:56:59 PM PDT
P R Munro says:
I would agree the works are not appropriately to be compared, but I was responding to a comment that did compare them.I notice that there is another very recently published work that covers some of the same ground; Paul Ham in "1914" devotes some 400 of his 600 pages to the causes of the war and, from the index and footnotes at least, appears to address Clark's analysis in a considered way.Both those works are focussed on events in 1914.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2013 6:52:56 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 24, 2013 7:14:26 AM PDT]
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