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The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by [MacMillan, Margaret]
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Length: 784 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Macmillan, professor of international history at Oxford, follows her Paris 1919 with another richly textured narrative about WWI, this time addressing the war's build-up. She asks, What made 1914 different? and wonders why Europe walk over the cliff given the continent's relatively longstanding peace. She begins by addressing Germany's misfortune in having a child for King; Wilhelm II sought to secure Germany's—and his own—world power status by inaugurating a naval race with Britain. Britain responded by making unlikely friends with France and Russia. Germany in turn cultivated relations with a near-moribund Austria-Hungary. Macmillan tells this familiar story with panache. A major contribution, however, is her presentation of its subtext, as Europe's claims to be the world's most advanced civilization were being challenged from without and undermined from within. Exertions for peace were overshadowed by acceptance of war as a tool that could be used against enemies made increasingly threatening by alliance systems. The nations' war plans shared a deeply rooted faith in the offensive and a near-irrational belief in the possibility of a short war. Macmillan eloquently shows that turning out the lights was not inevitable, but a consequence of years of decisions and reactions: a slow-motion train wreck few wanted but none could avoid. Agent: Christy Fletcher, C. Fletcher & Company LLC. (Nov.)

From Booklist

Anytime something turns 100, the commemorations and look-backs are sure to come rolling in. Take WWI, which “celebrates” the 100th anniversary of its declaration come summer of 2014. Nevertheless, that war, as with most wars, was a long chain of events that culminated in disaster. MacMillan’s charting of those events comprises the bulk of this hefty text. She showcases how numerous royals, politicians, industrialists, colonial advocates, and military minds groped in the dark toward a showdown in which each nation’s respective valor could be tested. The trouble with a book like this is that everything can be lent a veneer of inevitability, but history rarely works in such a linear manner. But MacMillan, famous for her scholarship on the peace concluding WWI, avoids this trap. She shows, again and again, that events could have run in any number of different directions. What resulted was a blunder on the part of plenty of blood-stained hands all around that was far from inevitable. --James Orbesen

Product details

  • File Size: 14882 KB
  • Print Length: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (October 29, 2013)
  • Publication Date: October 29, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,816 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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