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The War That Ended Peace

The Road to 1914
MacMillan, Margaret (Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The War That Ended Peace
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From the bestselling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, a fascinating portrait of Europe from 1900 up to the outbreak of World War I. The century since the end of the Napoleonic wars had been the most peaceful era Europe had known since the fall of the Roman Empire. In the first years of the twentieth century, Europe believed it was marching to a golden, happy, and prosperous future. But instead, complex personalities and rivalries, colonialism and ethnic nationalisms, and shifting alliances helped to bring about the failure of the long peace and the outbreak of a war that transformed Europe and the world. The War That Ended Peace brings vividly to life the military leaders, politicians, diplomats, bankers, and the extended, interrelated family of crowned heads across Europe who failed to stop the descent into war: in Germany, the mercurial Kaiser Wilhelm II and the chief of the German general staff, Von Moltke the Younger; in Austria-Hungary, Emperor Franz Joseph, a man who tried, through sheer hard work, to stave off the coming chaos in his empire; in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his wife; in Britain, King Edward VII, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, and British admiral Jacky Fisher, the fierce advocate of naval reform who entered into the arms race with Germany that pushed the continent toward confrontation on land and sea. There are the would-be peacemakers as well, among them prophets of the horrors of future wars whose warnings went unheeded: Alfred Nobel, who donated his fortune to the cause of international understanding, and Bertha von Suttner, a writer and activist who was the first woman awarded Nobel's new Peace Prize. Here too we meet the urbane and cosmopolitan Count Harry Kessler, who noticed many of the early signs that something was stirring in Europe; the young Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty and a rising figure in British politics; Madame Caillaux, who shot a man who might have been a force for peace; and more. With indelible portraits, MacMillan shows how the fateful decisions of a few powerful people changed the course of history. Taut, suspenseful, and impossible to put down, The War That Ended Peace is also a wise cautionary reminder of how wars happen in spite of the near-universal desire to keep the peace. Destined to become a classic in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August, The War That Ended Peace enriches our understanding of one of the defining periods and events of the twentieth century. - Publisher. This work presents a narrative portrait of Europe in the years leading up to World War I that illuminates the political, cultural, and economic factors and contributing personalities that shaped major events.
Authors: MacMillan, Margaret, 1943-
Title: The war that ended peace
the road to 1914
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, 2013.
Edition: First U.S. Edition.
Characteristics: xxxv, 739 pages :,illustrations, maps ;,25 cm.
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Contents: Europe in 1900
Great Britain and splendid isolation
The new Kaiser
Weltpolitik
Dreadnought
Unlikely friends: the entente cordiale
The bear and the whale: Russia and Great Britain
The loyalty of the Nibelungs
What were they thinking?
Dreaming of peace
Thinking about war
Making the plans
The crises start
The Bosnian crisis
1911: the year of discords
The first Balkan Wars
Preparing for war or peace
Assassination at Sarajevo
The end game.
Summary: From the bestselling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, a fascinating portrait of Europe from 1900 up to the outbreak of World War I. The century since the end of the Napoleonic wars had been the most peaceful era Europe had known since the fall of the Roman Empire. In the first years of the twentieth century, Europe believed it was marching to a golden, happy, and prosperous future. But instead, complex personalities and rivalries, colonialism and ethnic nationalisms, and shifting alliances helped to bring about the failure of the long peace and the outbreak of a war that transformed Europe and the world. The War That Ended Peace brings vividly to life the military leaders, politicians, diplomats, bankers, and the extended, interrelated family of crowned heads across Europe who failed to stop the descent into war: in Germany, the mercurial Kaiser Wilhelm II and the chief of the German general staff, Von Moltke the Younger; in Austria-Hungary, Emperor Franz Joseph, a man who tried, through sheer hard work, to stave off the coming chaos in his empire; in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his wife; in Britain, King Edward VII, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, and British admiral Jacky Fisher, the fierce advocate of naval reform who entered into the arms race with Germany that pushed the continent toward confrontation on land and sea. There are the would-be peacemakers as well, among them prophets of the horrors of future wars whose warnings went unheeded: Alfred Nobel, who donated his fortune to the cause of international understanding, and Bertha von Suttner, a writer and activist who was the first woman awarded Nobel's new Peace Prize. Here too we meet the urbane and cosmopolitan Count Harry Kessler, who noticed many of the early signs that something was stirring in Europe; the young Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty and a rising figure in British politics; Madame Caillaux, who shot a man who might have been a force for peace; and more. With indelible portraits, MacMillan shows how the fateful decisions of a few powerful people changed the course of history. Taut, suspenseful, and impossible to put down, The War That Ended Peace is also a wise cautionary reminder of how wars happen in spite of the near-universal desire to keep the peace. Destined to become a classic in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August, The War That Ended Peace enriches our understanding of one of the defining periods and events of the twentieth century. - Publisher.
This work presents a narrative portrait of Europe in the years leading up to World War I that illuminates the political, cultural, and economic factors and contributing personalities that shaped major events.
Local Note: 1 6 15 35 53 76 80 97 109 112 118 133 148 172 173 182 203 216 226 231 243 244 250 264 274
Master record variable field(s) change: 100, 505 WorldCat Holdings
ISBN: 140006855X
9781400068555
Statement of Responsibility: Margaret MacMillan
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 691-710) and index.
Subject Headings: World War, 1914-1918 Causes.
Topical Term: World War, 1914-1918
LCCN: 2013009274
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Sep 04, 2014
  • JacquieM rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

As usual, Margared MacMillan writes well for the intelligent layperson. The text could have used more editing, but is, as others have noted, insightful and rich in detail.

This book is an excellent place to start explorations of World War 1. MacMillan is an engaging (and often humorous) storyteller who makes historical characters and intrigues come alive. The asides about Canada are very funny. The extensive index and maps are clear and helpful.

Aug 11, 2014
  • rpavlacic rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book sheds a lot of light on what led to the "War to End All Wars." Much insight provided, including the problematic personal union between Austria and Hungary, the clueless nature of the Romanovs, and the arms race between Britain and Germany that presaged the battles of today. A heavy read but a worthwhile one.

May 06, 2014
  • MGallagher rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wonderful book, very readable. This period is so interesting in that it leads to this horrific war and Ms. MacMillan describes the causes so well. A must read.

Apr 17, 2014
  • gloryb rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is the result of much research and background reading. The author writes with much authority on the subject. Yet the book is very readable. The author gives the political and military thinking of the European statesmen towards their neighboring countries from the late 18thC to 1914 in order to show the road to WWI. She reviews the perceptions and attitudes of the public towards neighboring countries which may also have influenced actions at the home office. She includes the economy of the countries booming with industrialization and new technologies. Throughout, she keeps pointing out the past mistrusts of each country, past alliances, and past history. She is excellent in drawing verbal pictures of the Kaiser by giving details of his encounters with other leaders and his staff. These show his personality and how he possibly came to be blamed for the war. Some of the chapters are devoted to the events in one country while others include events that drew several countries into making alliances. She even has a chapter about the people who were prominent in their anti-war efforts and the European peace conferences that were already being held prior to WWI. Surely, the author leaves no stone unturned as she examines the road to war and the detours from a possibly peaceful co-existence. The inclusion of pertinent cartoons from the papers of that time period add interest as do the maps and photos of the people she is describing.

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Aug 11, 2014
  • rpavlacic rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 06, 2014
  • RickUWS rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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Jun 09, 2014
  • superglu2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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