The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914

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9780141027821: The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914

One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark’s riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.

Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself, but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict.

Clark traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts between the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade, and examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers is a dramatic and authoritative chronicle of Europe’s descent into a war that tore the world apart.

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From the Back Cover:

On the morning of June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie Chotek, arrived at Sarajevo railway station, Europe was at peace. Thirty-seven days later, it was at war. The conflict that resulted would kill more than fifteen million people, destroy three empires, and permanently alter world history.

The Sleepwalkers reveals in gripping detail how the crisis leading to World War I unfolded. Drawing on fresh sources, it traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts among the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade. Distinguished historian Christopher Clark examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.

How did the Balkans—a peripheral region far from Europe's centers of power and wealth—come to be the center of a drama of such magnitude? How had European nations organized themselves into opposing alliances, and how did these nations manage to carry out foreign policy as a result? Clark reveals a Europe racked by chronic problems—a fractured world of instability and militancy that was, fatefully, saddled with a conspicuously ineffectual set of political leaders. These rulers, who prided themselves on their modernity and rationalism, stumbled through crisis after crisis and finally convinced themselves that war was the only answer.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Sleepwalkers is a magisterial account of one of the most compelling dramas of modern times.

About the Author:

Christopher Clark is a professor of modern European history and a fellow of St. Catharine's College at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is the author of Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, among other books.

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Christopher Clark
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 0141027827 ISBN 13: 9780141027821
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The pacy, sensitive and formidably argued history of the causes of the First World War, from acclaimed historian and author Christopher ClarkFINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014SUNDAY TIMES and INDEPENDENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2012Winner of the Los Angeles Times History Book Prize 2014The 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 [Reading The Sleepwalkers], it is as if a light had been turned on a half-darkened stage of shadowy characters cursing among themselves without reason . [Clark] demolishes the standard view . The brilliance of Clark s far-reaching history is that we are able to discern how the past was genuinely prologue . In conception, steely scholarship and piercing insights, his book is a masterpiece Harold Evans, New York Times Book Review Impeccably researched, provocatively argued and elegantly written . a model of scholarship Sunday Times Books of the Year Superb . effectively consigns the old historical consensus to the bin . It s not often that one has the privilege of reading a book that reforges our understanding of one of the seminal events of world history Mail Online A monumental new volume . Revelatory, even revolutionary . Clark has done a masterful job explaining the inexplicable Boston Globe Superb . One of the great mysteries of history is how Europe s great powers could have stumbled into World War I . This is the single best book I have read on this important topic Fareed Zakaria A meticulously researched, superbly organized, and handsomely written account Military HistoryClark is a masterly historian . His account vividly reconstructs key decision points while deftly sketching the context driving them . A magisterial work Wall Street Journal This compelling examination of the causes of World War I deserves to become the new standard one-volume account of that contentious subject Foreign Affairs A brilliant contribution Times Higher Education Clark is fully alive to the challenges of the subject . He provides vivid portraits of leading figures . [He] also gives a rich sense of what contemporaries believed was at stake in the crises leading up to the war Irish Times In recent decades, many analysts had tended to put most blame for the disaster [of the First World War] on Germany. Clark strongly renews an older interpretation which sees the statesmen of many countries as blundering blindly together into war Stephen Howe, Independent Books of the YearAbout the author:Christopher Clark is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catharine s College. He is the. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780141027821

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Christopher Clark
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 0141027827 ISBN 13: 9780141027821
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The pacy, sensitive and formidably argued history of the causes of the First World War, from acclaimed historian and author Christopher ClarkFINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014SUNDAY TIMES and INDEPENDENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2012Winner of the Los Angeles Times History Book Prize 2014The 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 [Reading The Sleepwalkers], it is as if a light had been turned on a half-darkened stage of shadowy characters cursing among themselves without reason . [Clark] demolishes the standard view . The brilliance of Clark s far-reaching history is that we are able to discern how the past was genuinely prologue . In conception, steely scholarship and piercing insights, his book is a masterpiece Harold Evans, New York Times Book Review Impeccably researched, provocatively argued and elegantly written . a model of scholarship Sunday Times Books of the Year Superb . effectively consigns the old historical consensus to the bin . It s not often that one has the privilege of reading a book that reforges our understanding of one of the seminal events of world history Mail Online A monumental new volume . Revelatory, even revolutionary . Clark has done a masterful job explaining the inexplicable Boston Globe Superb . One of the great mysteries of history is how Europe s great powers could have stumbled into World War I . This is the single best book I have read on this important topic Fareed Zakaria A meticulously researched, superbly organized, and handsomely written account Military HistoryClark is a masterly historian . His account vividly reconstructs key decision points while deftly sketching the context driving them . A magisterial work Wall Street Journal This compelling examination of the causes of World War I deserves to become the new standard one-volume account of that contentious subject Foreign Affairs A brilliant contribution Times Higher Education Clark is fully alive to the challenges of the subject . He provides vivid portraits of leading figures . [He] also gives a rich sense of what contemporaries believed was at stake in the crises leading up to the war Irish Times In recent decades, many analysts had tended to put most blame for the disaster [of the First World War] on Germany. Clark strongly renews an older interpretation which sees the statesmen of many countries as blundering blindly together into war Stephen Howe, Independent Books of the YearAbout the author:Christopher Clark is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catharine s College. He is the. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780141027821

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