READ: The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, by Christopher Clark.

Details

Read chapters 1-3 (up to page 169) of this book for next meeting only. Available from Amazon and Kindle in English or German.
"The moments that it took Gavrilo Princip to step forward to the stalled car and shoot dead Franz Ferdinand and his wife were perhaps the most fateful of the modern era. An act of terrorism of staggering efficiency, it fulfilled its every aim: it would liberate Bosnia from Habsburg rule and it created a powerful new Serbia, but it also brought down four great empires, killed millions of men and destroyed a civilization. What made a seemingly prosperous and complacent Europe so vulnerable to the impact of this assassination?

In The Sleepwalkers Christopher Clark retells the story of the outbreak of the First World War and its causes. Above all, it shows how the failure to understand the seriousness of the chaotic, near genocidal fighting in the Balkans would drag Europe into catastrophe.

Reviews:

'Formidable ... one of the most impressive and stimulating studies of the period ever published' Max Hastings, Sunday Times

'Easily the best book ever written on the subject ... A work of rare beauty that combines meticulous research with sensitive analysis and elegant prose. The enormous weight of its quality inspires amazement and awe ... Academics should take note: Good history can still be a good story' Washington Post

'A lovingly researched work of the highest scholarship. It is hard to believe we will ever see a better narrative of what was perhaps the biggest collective blunder in the history of international relations' Niall Ferguson

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