- Library Binding: 800 pages
- Publisher: Native American Books Distributor (February 5, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0403001404
- ISBN-13: 978-0403001408
- Product Dimensions: 2 x 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,864,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Genesis of the World War and Introduction to the Problem of War Guilt
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Barnes begins this study by a well organized treatment of vast documents from French, Russian, German, etc., sources and gives the interested reader a guide to examine these sources more easily. For example, Barnes cites the Bolshevik RED ARCHIVES and Marchand's LIVRE NOIRE (THE BLACK BOOK) which is a collection of Russian (pre-Bolshevik) documents from Czarist Russia. Barnes' GENESIS and these sources make clear that the French and espicially the Russians were primarily responsible for the beginning War War I in 1914.
Barnes does a good job in tracing the connection of the Serbian Black Hand (who assassinatd the Hapsburg Heir Apparent in 1914)to Serbian military intelligence and ultimately to the Russians and Russians. He also corrects the myth that the German Kaisar Wilhelm and German authorities gave a "Blank Check" to the Austrians in their efforts to coerce the Serbians to concede to Hapsburg demands to bring those who assassinated to justice. In fact, the Germans did not want a general European war.
Barnes also mentions that the immediate event that sparked World War I was the moblization of the French army on Germany's western frontier plus the moblization of the huge Russian army on Germany's eastern frontier. This obviously forced the Germans to mobilize to face what appeared overwhelming odds.
Barnes demolishes the myth that the British declared war on the Germans due to the German invasion of Belgium to attack the French. The fact is that this was not the reason for the British declaration of war. The actual reason was that Lord Grey, the British Foreign Minister from 1906 to 1916, had made a secret treaty with the French to go to war on French behalf if they ever go into a war with the Germans. Readers should note that the Belgium authorities were in negotiations with the British and French land their troops on Belgium soil to invade Germany. One should also that any claim of neutrality on behalf of the Belgium authorities was belied by these negotiations.
Another myth that is exploded by Barnes is the status of the sinking of THE LUSITANIA. The usual textbook version of events is that the wicked Germans sank a civilian vessel. Beginning on page 617 of THE GENESIS OF THE WORLD WAR, Barnes clearly proves that Pres Wilson did not enforce a U.S. statute that forbade American civlians from sailing on ships carrying munitions and was so warned by his Secretary of State William Jennings Bryon. Barnes also makes a convincing that THE LUSITANIA was armed at the time of her sinking and was in fact a military naval vessel and registered in the British navy as an auxillary cruiser which eliminated any protections she had under existing international law.
Finally, Barnes makes the case that many in the U.S. who provoked and supported World War I later changed their minds. There is a good anecdote on page 645 whereby then former U.S. Pres. Woodrow Wilson expressed such regrets in December of 1923.
THE GENESIS OF THE WAR is simply a great book. Barnes overwhelms the "bitter enders" who continued to laud U.S. entry into World War I with both logic and knowledge based on sources and sound historical investigation. Anyone interested in the actual origins of World War I would do well to read this book.