The War That Ended Peace: The Road To 1914 Paperback – Jul 29 2014
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“Evocative…. [MacMillan] lays out in superb detail the personalities of power … and the choices they made, or neglected to make, that contributed to the start of the war in August, 1914.” - The Globe and Mail
“Thorough and highly readable.” - National Post
“It is [MacMillan’s] commitment to storytelling and her insistence that ‘there are always choices’ that provides a welcome break from the passive voice of so many First World War tomes.” - Maclean’s
“A richly textured account of the road to war…. Vivid.” - The Guardian (U.K.)
“Splendidly well written—fluent, engaging, well-paced and, despite the grim subject, often entertaining.” - New Statesman
“She writes prose like an Audi—purring smoothly along the diplomatic highway, accelerating effortlessly as she goes the distance. This is a ground-breaking book, decisively shifting the debate away from the hoary old question of Germany's war guilt. MacMillan's history is magisterial—dense, balanced and humane. The story of Europe's diplomatic meltdown has never been better told.” - Spectator
“The Canadian historian laces The War That Ended Peace with deft character sketches and uses sources incisively…MacMillan escorts the reader skilfully through the military, diplomatic and political crises that framed the road to war from 1870 to 1914.” - FT
“Excellent, elegantly written book…as fine an assessment of the reason peace failed as any yet written.” - Saul David
“Margaret MacMillan, the author of Peacemakers, which won numerous prizes, is that wonderful combination—an academic and scholar who writes well, with a marvelous clarity of thought. Her pen portraits of the chief players are both enjoyable and illuminating. Among the cascade of books arriving for the anniversary, this work truly stands out.” - Antony Beevor
About the Author
MARGARET MacMILLAN is the renowned author of Women of the Raj, Stephen Leacock (Extraordinary Canadians series), and the international bestsellers Nixon in China and Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, which won the 2003 Governor General’s Award and the 2002 Samuel Johnson Prize. She is also the author of The Uses and Abuses of History. The past provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, she is now the warden of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University.See all Product description
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She has many strengths which ranges from her writing style to her grasp of understanding history to her ability to tell a real story through research. The story she tells here is how Europe turned away from peace in the pre-WW1 era. In fantastic detail she's able to detail major and minor events that shaped European policy decisions. From those with immense political and social power to those in the factory, the book immerses the reader into the everyday culture and ideas that dominated European societies leading to the Great War. She's doesn't detail the events that happened during the Russo-Japanese War for example but as noted, she gathers the causes and consequences of such events and outlines how this impacted Europe. For those seeking a better understanding of what changed throughout Europe pre-1914 this is undoubtedly one of the best books out there.
Her writing style is fluid, well organized and somewhat simple. However, that simplicity does not take away from the story. What really ties the organization and simplicity together is the amount of research involved. While a lengthy read, it flows extremely well for those with a keen interest in this historical era and those without.
One of the book's weaknesses is that it often covers ideas and events that have already been discussed earlier in the book. While it's great to have a review of certain sections of the book it adds to the overall volume. With that being said, it's not much of a subtraction. In fact, I'm confident many are pleased with how she reviews ideas and events.
Also recommend her books Paris 1919 and Nixon in China.
It is a fascinating detailed read so do yourself a favour.
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