The Origins of the First World War / Edition 3

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James Joll's justly-celebrated study (the first to be published in this major series) is not simply another narrative, retracing the powder trail that was finally ignited at Sarajevo: it is an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis of the historical forces at work in the Europe of 1914, and the very different ways in which historians have subsequently attempted to understand them. In reviewing the historiographical debate that has grown around this most challenging of subjects, Professor Joll has thus been able to illuminate not only the crisis of July-August 1914, but also the very status of historical explanation itself.

The importance of the theme, the breadth and sympathy of James Joll's scholarship, and the clarity of his exposition, have all contributed to the spectacular success of the book since its first appearance. (A number of reviews of the First Edition are given below). Now, Professor Joll has returned to the text and revised it in the light of recent research. The most notable features of this Second Edition are the substantial new material on Italy and the war, the reworking of the bibliography, and the resetting of the entire text in a more readable format.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

‘Gordon Martel has done the impossible: he has made James Joll’s The Origins of the First World War once more the premier study on why war came in 1914…Martel has not simply updated Joll’s contribution but enhanced and improved it… A triumph of both scholarship and editorial talent; James Joll would have been pleased.’

Samuel R. Williamson Jr., University of the South.

‘Probably the best comprehensive history of the origins of World War I available in the English language… Gordon Martel’s [revision] will make certain that the book's deep insights will continue to captivate and inspire future generations of students and others interested in…the Great War.’

Volker Berghahn, ColumbiaUniversity.

Of the Second Edition:

'This succinct and, above all, admirably clear volume...will be essential reading for all students of the subject… It is written with lightness of touch and an eye for the telling anecdote that will commend it to the general reader too.'

British Book News

‘...this scholarly, comprehensive and subtle analysis should be made compulsory reading for all students of the period and, most of all, for the decision-makers of today.’

John F V Keiger, History

Joll's (emeritus, U. of London) acclaimed narrative, first published in 1984, and now revised and updated to reflect the latest research, is a wide-ranging analysis of the historical forces at work in the Europe of 1914, and the very different ways historians have subsequently attempted to understand them. This title initiates a major new Longman series. Printed on acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780582423794
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/14/2006
  • Series: Origins Of Modern Wars Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 452,286
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

The late James Joll was Emeritus Professor of the University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Gordon Martel is Professor of History at the University of Northern British Columbia. He is a leading historian of war and empire in the modern world.

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Table of Contents

1.Introduction. 2.The July crisis, 1914. 3.The alliance system and the old diplomacy 4.Militarism, armaments and strategy. 5.The primacy of domestic politics 6.The international economy. 7.Imperial rivalries. 8.The mood of 1914. 9.Conclusion. Further Reading. Maps. Index

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