The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 Hardcover – Oct 29 2013
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“The War that Ended Peace tells the story of how intelligent, well-meaning leaders guided their nations into catastrophe. These epic events, brilliantly described by one our era’s most talented historians, warn of the dangers that arise when we fail to anticipate the consequences of our actions. Immersed in intrigue, enlivened by fascinating stories, and made compelling by the author’s own insights, this is one of the finest books I have read on the causes of World War I.” - Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State
“Once again, Margaret MacMillan proves herself not just a masterly historian but a brilliant storyteller. She brings to life the personalities whose decisions, rivalries, ambitions, and fantasies led Europe to “lay waste to itself” and triggered decades of global conflict. Hers is a cautionary tale of follies a century in the past that seem all too familiar today.” - Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution
“The War That Ended Peace is a masterful explanation of the complex forces that brought the Edwardian world crashing down. Utterly riveting, deeply moving, and impeccably researched, MacMillan's latest opus will become the definitive account of old Europe's final years.” - Amanda Foreman, author of A World on Fire
"That MacMillan's research is both thorough and of the utmost quality goes without saying; however, the relevant lessons she draws out of the "puzzle" that precipitated the Great War bear repeating again and again. Above all she reminds us that, even in an increasingly interconnected world, nothing is inevitable and there are always choices to be made that can lead us to achieve conflict prevention." - Lieutenant-General The Honourable Romeo A. Dallaire
“Margaret MacMillan… 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, author of The Second World War
“Few historians have better credentials to write about the origins of the First World War than the Oxford scholar Margaret MacMillan…with its lovely elegant style, keen eye for human foibles and impeccable attention to detail, this is one of the most enjoyably readable books of the year… MacMillan depicts a world of neurotically anxious empires and dangerously insecure alliances, a restless landscape in which diplomacy’s tectonic plates never stay still for a moment.” - Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
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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Top Customer Reviews
This is historical writing at its finest. I do not, by any means, consider myself an expert on World War I. Despite that limitation this book never left me confused or bored. What I found to be a rare but fascinating quality is the ability to draw parallels between events of a century ago and more recent ones. The comparison between the visit of King Edward VII to Paris and President Nixon to Beijing is one example. Many of us will will become much more familiar with World War I during the upcoming Centennial. "The War That Ended Peace" is a great introduction to the Great War.
MacMillan provides a thorough review of the context of Europe prior to 1914. She presents the various characters with a level of insight and fairness that is admirable. It is not possible to lay responsibility for the war at the feet of any one nation or any one person. There is plenty of responsibility to go around. As time progressed, leaders felt that their options were being reduced. They were caught in a complex web of personal relationships and grievances, nationalism run rampant, public opinions that were creating pressure for military action, and military planning that created irresistible momentum toward war. Once set in motion, Europe rumbled toward the precipice.
On several occasions, MacMillan draws parallels between the events of the early 20th century and similar situations and decisions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. These provide a series of lessons for readers and leaders in the 21st century. But on occasion, MacMillan's observations are a little preachy.
At times the amount of detail provided by MacMillan was daunting. But it is also one of the strengths of the book and of her scholarship. When finished reading the book, I found myself better informed because of the detail.
As the book moved forward toward the breakout of the war, I found that the pace of the book picked up.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
excellent service-book a new light on an old subject-but weighty-perhaps a bit much detail-not disappointing but a bit heavy goingPublished 1 month ago by Thomas De Volpi
I enjoy Magaret's depth and backups in describing her characters. She shows our civilization has came a long way to this point in time but when to much trust is placed with... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dean Peterson
MacMillan presents the making of this needless disaster in a fully understandable and meaningful manner. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ron Semenoff
MacMillan brilliantly relates the vast sweeps and detailed nuances of European interrelationships prior to the Great War. The range and depth of her exposition is astonishing. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Ms. MacMillan writes clearly and concisely. Her intelligence and knowledge shines through here almost as well as it does in my favourite work of hers: Paris 1919. Read morePublished 8 months ago by michael hargreaves
Heavy going and packed with info, a meaty tome, I loved to dig my 'teeth' into it. Not a quick light page turner. A bit on the aficionado side but I liked it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Darth68