July Crisis: The World's Descent into War, Summer 1914

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9781107064904: July Crisis: The World's Descent into War, Summer 1914
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Title: July Crisis( The World's Descent Into War Summer 1914) <>Binding: Hardcover <>Author: ThomasOtte <>Publisher: CambridgeUniversityPress

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'Anyone planning to wade through the vast outpouring of literature on the First World War might do well to make July Crisis their first port of call.' Jules Stewart, Military History

'By returning meticulously to sources that many historians have ignored, one of Britain's brightest new-generation historians, Thomas Otte, has come up with a startlingly original yet wholly believable new interpretation of the true causes of the Great War. This is historical scholarship at its best, with the bonus of being written with a gently ironic yet extremely funny wit, in a subject that isn't naturally given to it.' Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War (2010)

'This account of the July crisis will become the gold standard for all future historians. Unlike almost all contemporary studies, Otte has gone back to the original sources and used both public and private collections, some never cited before, to trace the unfolding of these fateful days. His judgments are convincing and clearly presented. Otte catches the drama of these weeks and carries the reader with him to the very end.' Zara Steiner, author of The Lights That Failed (2005) and The Triumph of the Dark (2011)

'The first new analysis of the origins of the war based on original documents, July Crisis: The World's Descent into War will become the classic account. Otte's scholarship is unsurpassed: his judgments are judicious and fair and based on a deep understanding of both the evidence and its context. It is unlikely to be superseded.' Keith Neilson, author of Britain, Soviet Russia and the Collapse of the Versailles Order, 1919–1939 (2005)

'Thomas Otte brings impeccable and painstaking research and a flair for story-telling to illuminate Europe's last weeks of peace in 1914. From the assassination of the Archduke in Sarajevo to the outbreak of a general war five weeks later, he shows how a series of individual decisions led towards the catastrophe.' Margaret MacMillan, author of The War That Ended Peace: How Europe Abandoned Peace for the First World War (2013)

'... distinguished and readable ...' Wall Street Journal Online

'Drawing on painstaking research and many new sources, Otte illuminates the importance of timing in understanding the crisis.' Financial Times

'If you want to understand how Europe stumbled into suicide in 1914, read this book.' The Independent

'Historians like Otte are painting a whole new picture of the origins of the Great War ... But the best part of this virtuoso examination of the 38-day political and diplomatic crisis that stretched from the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand to Germany's declaration of war on Russia is the way Otte, a professor at the University of East Anglia, restores individual actors to where they should be: at the centre of historical events. Once it began, the First World War was so unpredictable in its course and so momentous in its outcomes – some of which, like the current Iraqi crisis, the world is still working through – that historians have increasingly tended to pin its outbreak on huge impersonal forces, a socio-economic-technological horror story whose time had come. By poring over archival records and postwar memoirs (the latter with a properly jaundiced eye), Otte brings to light the calculations (mostly bad) and motivations of the handful of men whose decisions brought Europe to catastrophe.' Brian Bethune, Maclean's

'I've rarely read a more sickeningly thrilling first chapter than the opener of July Crisis ... Otte takes you step by fateful step to the moment that changed the world forever.' Katharine Whittemore, The Boston Globe

Book Description:

A definitive new account of the catalytic events that led to the outbreak of the First World War. Thomas Otte argues that neither martial culture nor the alliance system played a decisive role for much of the crisis. Instead he reveals the fatal flaws, failings and miscalculations of those who led Europe into war.

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