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July Crisis : The World's Descent Into War, Summer 1914
by T. G. Otte


Overview - This is a magisterial new account of Europe s tragic descent into a largely inadvertent war in the summer of 1914. Thomas Otte reveals why a century-old system of Great Power politics collapsed so disastrously in the weeks from the shot heard around the world on June 28th to Germany s declaration of war on Russia on August 1st.  Read more...

 
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More About July Crisis by T. G. Otte
 
 
 
Overview
This is a magisterial new account of Europe s tragic descent into a largely inadvertent war in the summer of 1914. Thomas Otte reveals why a century-old system of Great Power politics collapsed so disastrously in the weeks from the shot heard around the world on June 28th to Germany s declaration of war on Russia on August 1st. He shows definitively that the key to understanding how and why Europe descended into world war is to be found in the near-collective failure of statecraft by the rulers of Europe and not in abstract concepts such as the balance of power or the alliance system . In this unprecedented panorama of Europe on the brink, from the ministerial palaces of Berlin and Vienna to Belgrade, London, Paris and St Petersburg, Thomas Otte reveals the hawks and doves whose decision-making led to a war that would define a century and which still reverberates today."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781107064904
  • ISBN-10: 1107064902
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 555
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > Military - World War I
Books > History > Europe - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-06-09
  • Reviewer: Staff

As fascinated with WWI as four preceding generations of colleagues, Otte (The Foreign Office Mind: 1865-1914), professor of history at the University of East Anglia, delivers an opinionated account of the run-up to the war that sticks close to the primary documents. He relentlessly emphasizes the poor intellectual quality of most European leaders at the time and their weakness, both in responding to the assassination of Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand and that nation’s consequent desire for revenge. Paranoid about being encircled, German leaders fretted over supporting their ally Austria-Hungary, whose Great Power–status was fading; Austria-Hungary, in turn, was entirely preoccupied with the Balkans. France prioritized supporting Russia over all other considerations, while Russian leaders, humiliated by Germany in earlier Balkan standoffs, were determined not to repeat the experience. In Otte’s view, British foreign minister Edward Grey and German ambassador to London Karl Lichnowsky did not share in the general incompetence. Grey consistently urged negotiation, and Lichnowsky faithfully informed his superiors, who ignored him. This is meticulous political history, dense with footnotes but clearly written. Not shy about answering the unanswerable, Otte evaluates leading views on why the war happened as he offers points of disagreement. The book is highly accomplished but potentially controversial. (Aug.)

 
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