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

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

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

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, it surprised a European population enjoying the most beautiful summer in memory. For nearly a century since, historians have debated the causes of the war. Some have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; others have concluded it was unavoidable.

In Europe’s Last Summer, David Fromkin provides a different answer: hostilities were commenced deliberately. In a riveting re-creation of the run-up to war, Fromkin shows how German generals, seeing war as inevitable, manipulated events to precipitate a conflict waged on their own terms. Moving deftly between diplomats, generals, and rulers across Europe, he makes the complex diplomatic negotiations accessible and immediate. Examining the actions of individuals amid larger historical forces, this is a gripping historical narrative and a dramatic reassessment of a key moment in the twentieth-century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375725753
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/08/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 261,328
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David Fromkin is University Professor and Professor of History at Boston University. He is the author of In the Time of the Americans, a History Book Club selection, and the national best-seller A Peace to End All Peace, which was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize and was singled out by the New York Times Book Review as one of the thirteen “Best Books of the Year” in 1989. He lives in New York City.

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Europe's Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914? 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The standard approach to the start of 'The Great War' is that the murder of the heir to the Hapsburg throne was the act that started the European powers down the slippery slope of war. Alliances, rivalries and military plans created diplomatic gridlock from which war was unavoidable. Professor Fromkin presents a different picture. Both German and Austrian leaders viewed time as working against them. The Prussian General Staff viewed Russia as its main threat, a threat growing stronger each year. Austria likewise viewed Serbia as a threat that would only grow stronger. Both planned a preemptive wars and the murder in Serajevo gave them the excuse. Austria only wanted to fight Serbia, but Germany hijacked thier diplomatic efforts and turned the Austrian's small war into a general European War. This is a very readable and enjoyable accounting of the steps leading to war. This book profits from a longer perspective on the events of 1914 and the Great War's impact on the 20th century.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An easy read considering how heavy the topic is. I've never believed Germany was totally to blame for the war (as stated in Versailles) and this book concentrates on that thesis, so I disagree with much of it. However, one should always learn new information and there's plenty of that here. Making out Moltke as the bad guy seems a bit far-fetched. To believe Fromkin, one has to buy into the logic that Germans wanted war and the sooner the better soas to wipe out a Russian threat. However, clearly backward Russia was never a great threat in 1914, so the thesis seems to fall apart to those who choose to look beyond Fromkin. Still, the interplay between Germany and Austria (the real villain in this tragedy) is rather intriguing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago