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Europe's Last Summer:
Who Started the Great War in 1914?

by David Fromkin

ISBN 0375411569 / 9780375411564 / 0-375-41156-9
Publisher Knopf
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

From the author of the best-selling A Peace to End All Peace (extraordinarily ambitious, provocative, and vividly writtenWashington Post Book World), a dramatic reassessment of the causes of the Great War.

The early summer of 1914 was the most glorious Europeans could remember. But, behind the scenes, the most destructive war the world had yet known was moving inexorably into being, a war that would continue to resonate into the twenty-first century. The question of how it began has long vexed historians. Many have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; others have concluded that it was nobodys fault. But David Fromkinwhose account is based on the latest scholarshipprovides a different answer. He makes plain that hostilities were commenced deliberately.

In a gripping narrative that has eerie parallels to events in our own time, Fromkin shows that not one but two wars were waged, and that the first served as pretext for the second. Shedding light on such current issues as preemptive war and terrorism, he provides detailed descriptions of the negotiations and incisive portraits of the diplomats, generals, and rulersthe Kaiser of Germany, the Czar of Russia, the Prime Minister of England, among other key players. And he reveals how and why diplomacy was doomed to fail.
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