Customer Reviews for

July 1914: Countdown to War

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 27, 2014

    The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his morganatic

    The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his morganatic wife the Duchess Sophia in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 triggered a series of events that are being felt even to this day. While a cursory overview of history - at least to me - seemed to imply that fighting took place very soon after the assassination, the reality was something quite different.

    The fact of the matter was that ethnic tensions, political considerations and good old-fashioned lying and backstabbing led to what was first called the Great War, then sadly to the First World War as Adolf Hitler decided he wanted to re-fight WWI all over again. The backstory of this war has a lot of moving parts and Sean McMeekin has done a masterful job of relaying this as history should be told - as a story. There are a lot of characters in play here (and thank goodness for the Dramatis Personae that helps keep you straight).

    McMeekin tells the story from various points of view - whether Russian, German, Austrian, French or English. He also makes sure to mention influences resulting from the two Balkan Wars of the late 1900s - early 1910s. He pulls no punches and takes no sides; he brings up the evidence and calls it like he sees it. 

    Ultimately, what McMeekin shows to us is the frailty and weakness of humanity. The evidence shows that this was far from mankind's finest hour. The reader will see leaders not working with each other, working towards war, deliberate obtuseness, blind naivete, or - in the case of England - so much navel gazing. The results, sadly, were measured in the deaths of millions of people in both world wars.

    BOTTOM LINE: This is the perfect book for an introduction into the history of World War I.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2013

    Reads like a novel

    Overall an easily readable, very informative book. Well-organized in that the Prologue concerning the assassination in Sarajevo on June 28th sets the stage, then the events of July are covered step-by-step and country-by-country, followed by an excellent summarizing Epilogue: Who Bears Responsibility. Occasionally the details can be overwhelming but there are helpful reference pages about the chronology and cast of characters. Given the fact that the consequences of World War I still affect today's world, this less well known history of the war's prelude in July 1914 is worth a read. However, if you want the shortest of summaries, I would say the bottom line is that the leaders of all the involved countries wanted war more than peace.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    great book!

    great book!

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2013

    Slipkit

    He sat down.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    recommend

    Very detailed analysis of the events after 6/28 through the first part of August. Certainly focused more on the responsibility of Russia in the "cause" of the war than what I had seen in the past. There are so many people involved in the drama it was hard to keep them straight at times thus a cheat sheet of who is who in front of the reader while reading might help.

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  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Contains much helpful information on the effects of Franz Ferdin

    Contains much helpful information on the effects of Franz Ferdinand & Sophie's assassination. Written in a very easily readable style. I recommend this book as a "must read" to anyone interested in the history of World War I.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    too slow

    It gives too much info that is not needed

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    H

    Its very scary and poopy....

    0 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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