The Month that Changed the World: July 1914 and WWI

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9780199665389: The Month that Changed the World: July 1914 and WWI

On 28 June 1914 the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in the Balkans. Five fateful weeks later the Great Powers of Europe were at war.

Much time and ink has been spent ever since trying to identify the "guilty" person or state responsible, or alternatively attempting to explain the underlying forces that 'inevitably' led to war in 1914. Unsatisfied with these explanations, Gordon Martel now goes back to the contemporary diplomatic, military, and political records to investigate the twists and turns of the crisis afresh, with the aim of establishing just how the catastrophe really unfurled.

What emerges is the story of a terrible, unnecessary tragedy - one that can be understood only by retracing the steps taken by those who went down the road to war. With each passing day, we see how the personalities of leading figures such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Tsar Nicholas II, Sir Edward Grey, and Raymond Poincare were central to the unfolding crisis, how their hopes and fears intersected as events unfolded, and how each new decision produced a response that complicated or escalated matters to the point where they became almost impossible to contain.

Devoting a chapter to each day of the infamous "July Crisis," this gripping step by step account of the descent to war makes clear just how little the conflict was in fact premeditated, preordained, or even predictable. Almost every day it seemed possible that the crisis could be settled as so many had been over the previous decade; almost every day there was a new suggestion that gave statesmen hope that war could be avoided without abandoning vital interests.

And yet, as the last month of peace ebbed away, the actions and reactions of the Great Powers disastrously escalated the situation. So much so that, by the beginning of August, what might have remained a minor Balkan problem had turned into the cataclysm of the First World War.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :


Gordon Martel is a leading authority on war, empire, and diplomacy in the modern age. His numerous publications include studies of the origins of the first and second world wars, modern imperialism, and the nature of diplomacy. A founding editor of The International History Review, he has taught at a number of Canadian universities, and has been a visiting professor or fellow in England, Ireland and Australia. Editor-in-chief of the five-volume Encyclopedia of War, he is also joint editor of the longstanding Seminar Studies in History series.

Review :


"An eminent and prolific historian of war and diplomacy, now retired from the University of Northern British Columbia, Martel notes that because it is so difficult to get at these underlying assumptions, 'there is not, and there never will be, a neat explanation that ties up all of the loose ends' about the origins of the Great War." --Financial Times


"This is an outstanding work and a significant contribution to our understanding of the origins of that terrible war." --Army Magazine


"Mr. Martel's The Month That Changed the World relies on published primary sources (which are exploited very thoroughly) and secondary works, and the author makes very effective use of a day-by-day narrative approach. He has some acute insights." --Wall St Journal


"Few will accuse Martel of hyperbole-the events leading up to WWI certainly changed world history dramatically-and in this fascinating and accessible account, the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of War clearly details the day-by-day developments, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo to England's declaration of war." -- Publishers Weekly


"Martel's book is a great work and provides a readable and engaging account of a notoriously complex subject."--H-Net


"During the centenary year an avalanche of books on the First World War's origins will descend upon the public. Gordon Martel's will stand out among them for its authoritative judgements and for its no-nonsense focus on the decisions that caused the conflict's outbreak. It offers a detailed but compelling narrative of the July 1914 crisis, based overwhelmingly on first-hand and contemporary evidence." --David Stevenson, author of 1914-1918: the History of the First World War


"Martel embraces the complexity of the historical moment and presents a thoroughly (and at times, bewilderingly) detailed blow-by-blow account of the flurry of diplomatic activity that, despite many opportunities to maintain peace, ultimately plunged the world into war." --Booklist


Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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Description du livre Oxford UP, 2014. État : New. Rather than searching for the 'origins' of the First World War in historians' theories, or asking who or what caused the conflict, Martel explores the reality in contemporary diplomatic, political and military records. Day-by-day through the July Crisis and the 'days of decision' (1-4 August), and with the focus on those responsible for making fateful choices, he tells the story of how Europe moved from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June to the declaration of war. N° de réf. du libraire 223993

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Description du livre Oxford University Press, U.S.A., 2014. Hardcover. État : New. Etat de la jaquette : New. 1st Edition. On 28 June 1914 the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated at Sarajevo. Five fateful weeks later the Great Powers of Europe were at war. Much time and ink has been spent over the last century trying to identify the "guilty" person or state responsible, or attempting to explain that no one was to blame, that "underlying" impersonal forces "inevitably" led to war in 1914. Unsatisfied with these explanations, Gordon Martel now goes back to the human dimension, to the contemporary diplomatic, military, and political records, in order to recount the twists and turns of the crisis afresh, with the aim of establishing just how the cataclysm was unleashed. What emerges is the story of a terrible, avoidable tragedy -- a mystery that can be solved only by retracing the steps taken by those who took the world down the road to war. With each passing day we see how the personalities of leading figures such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Tsar Nicholas II, Sir Edward Grey, and Raymond Poincare were central to the unfolding crisis, how their hopes and fears intersected as events unfolded, and how, in spite of increasing tensions and escalating fears, a peaceful resolution appeared to be within their grasp until the final moments. Devoting a chapter to each day of the infamous "July Crisis", this gripping account of the descent into the abyss of war makes clear just how little the conflict was, in fact, premeditated, preordained, or even predictable. Almost every day it seemed possible that the crisis could be settled as so many had been over the previous decade; almost every day a new initiative encouraged the hope that war could once again be avoided. Why was war not avoided this time? By recounting the thoughts and arguments of those responsible for making the decisions, readers can judge for themselves why peace failed and who was responsible for the failure. Oxford University Press, Hardcover, 2014 This is a BRAND NEW book. N° de réf. du libraire 000069

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Description du livre Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On 28 June 1914 the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in the Balkans. Five fateful weeks later the Great Powers of Europe were at war. Much time and ink has been spent ever since trying to identify the guilty person or state responsible, or alternatively attempting to explain the underlying forces that inevitably led to war in 1914. Unsatisfied with these explanations, Gordon Martel now goes back to the contemporary diplomatic, military, and political records to investigate the twists and turns of the crisis afresh, with the aim of establishing just how the catastrophe really unfurled. What emerges is the story of a terrible, unnecessary tragedy - one that can be understood only by retracing the steps taken by those who went down the road to war. With each passing day, we see how the personalities of leading figures such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Tsar Nicholas II, Sir Edward Grey, and Raymond Poincare were central to the unfolding crisis, how th. N° de réf. du libraire AOP9780199665389

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Description du livre Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On 28 June 1914 the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in the Balkans. Five fateful weeks later the Great Powers of Europe were at war. Much time and ink has been spent ever since trying to identify the guilty person or state responsible, or alternatively attempting to explain the underlying forces that inevitably led to war in 1914. Unsatisfied with these explanations, Gordon Martel now goes back to the contemporary diplomatic, military, and political records to investigate the twists and turns of the crisis afresh, with the aim of establishing just how the catastrophe really unfurled. What emerges is the story of a terrible, unnecessary tragedy - one that can be understood only by retracing the steps taken by those who went down the road to war. With each passing day, we see how the personalities of leading figures such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Tsar Nicholas II, Sir Edward Grey, and Raymond Poincare were central to the unfolding crisis, how th. N° de réf. du libraire AOP9780199665389

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