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Gavrilo Princip: The Assassin Who Started the First World War Paperback – September, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Before he tells us the story of `Gavrilo Princip' the assassin of `the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand ', Villiers analyses the geographical and historical situation of the surrounding empires that cradle The Balkan Countries. We learn about The Roman, The Ottoman, The Hapsburg, The Russian, and The Prussian Empires that give us the logical derivations of the religions and political persuasions of the individual Balkan countries. With humorous anecdotes we gradually understand and sympathise with the dilemmas of the leaders and the frustrations of the peoples.
This brings us up to 1914 and the next step is a description of the individuals behind the assassination. Their organisation was conceived by an underground movement in Serbia called `The Black Hand' and masterminded by Col. Apis. Serbia was a country whose ethnic brotherhood was tied with Bosnia by means of cells and secrecy. Gavrilo a humble Bosnian boy who, fired with anger and nationalism, joined a band of terrorists in Sarajevo.
A comparative description of the leaders of The Austrian-Hungarian Empire brings the whole scene to life. We are taken through the plot and fatal day and its outcome for the terrorists. Finally Villiers gives an overview of the situation and outcome of World War 1.
The book is enlivened by Fiona Balfour's moving illustrations. What is missing however is a map.
This book is a must for people who know the subject and want to learn more or for those like me who don't know the subject and want to understand. I feel inspired to visit the area and read more about such a consuming subject. I recommend this book highly.