1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War

1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War

by Charles Emmerson
1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War

1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War

by Charles Emmerson

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

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Today, 1913 is inevitably viewed through the lens of 1914: as the last year before a war that would shatter the global economic order and tear Europe apart, undermining its global pre-eminence. Our perspectives narrowed by hindsight, the world of that year is reduced to its most frivolous features -- last summers in grand aristocratic residences -- or its most destructive ones: the unresolved rivalries of the great European powers, the fear of revolution, violence in the Balkans.

In this illuminating history, Charles Emmerson liberates the world of 1913 from this "prelude to war" narrative, and explores it as it was, in all its richness and complexity. Traveling from Europe's capitals, then at the height of their global reach, to the emerging metropolises of Canada and the United States, the imperial cities of Asia and Africa, and the boomtowns of Australia and South America, he provides a panoramic view of a world crackling with possibilities, its future still undecided, its outlook still open.

The world in 1913 was more modern than we remember, more similar to our own times than we expect, more globalized than ever before. The Gold Standard underpinned global flows of goods and money, while mass migration reshaped the world's human geography. Steamships and sub-sea cables encircled the earth, along with new technologies and new ideas. Ford's first assembly line cranked to life in 1913 in Detroit. The Woolworth Building went up in New York. While Mexico was in the midst of bloody revolution, Winnipeg and Buenos Aires boomed. An era of petro-geopolitics opened in Iran. China appeared to be awaking from its imperial slumber. Paris celebrated itself as the city of light -- Berlin as the city of electricity.

Full of fascinating characters, stories, and insights, 1913: In Search of the World before the Great War brings a lost world vividly back to life, with provocative implications for how we understand our past and how we think about our future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610393805
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 06/24/2014
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 436,262
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Charles Emmerson is a Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House working on resource security, foreign policy, and global geopolitics. He is the author of The Future History of the Arctic and 1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War. He was formerly a writer for the Financial Times and continues to publish regularly on international affairs. He lives in London, England.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

I Centre of the Universe 1

London World City 15

Paris The Eternal, The Universal 37

Berlin Powerhouse 59

Rome The Pope's Aeroplane 78

Vienna Shadows and Light 87

St Petersburg Eastern Colossus 110

II The Old New World 133

Washington, DC Republic, Nation, Empire 144

New York Metropolis 161

Detroit A Model Future 182

Los Angeles Boom! 194

Mexico City Monroe's Bequest 206

III The World Beyond 223

Winnipeg-Melbourne Britain Abroad 230

Buenos Aires Southern Star 252

Algiers The Radiance of the Republic 267

Bombay-Durban Tapestry of Empire 280

Tehran Under Foreign Eyes 309

Jerusalem Zion and its Discontents 325

IV Twilight Powers 347

Constantinople Tides of History 358

Peking-Shanghai Waking Slumber 381

Tokyo Rising Sun 411

London Beyond the Horizon 431

Epilogue: The Afterlife of 1913 450

Notes 458

Selected Bibliography 495

Picture Credits 503

Acknowledgements 505

Index 509

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