The Burden of Guilt: How Germany Shattered the Last Days of Peace, Summer 1914

The Burden of Guilt: How Germany Shattered the Last Days of Peace, Summer 1914

by Daniel Allen Butler

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Overview

The Burden of Guilt: How Germany Shattered the Last Days of Peace, Summer 1914 by Daniel Allen Butler

The conflagration that consumed Europe in August 1914 had been a long time in coming—and yet it need never have happened at all. For though all the European powers were prepared to accept a war as a resolution to the tensions which were fermenting across the Continent, only one nation wanted war to come: Imperial Germany. Of all the countries caught up in the tangle of alliances, promises, and pledges of support during the crisis that followed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Germany alone possessed the opportunity and the power to determine that a war in eastern Europe would become the Great War, which swept across the Continent and nearly destroyed a thousand years of European civilization. For nearly nine decades it has been argued that the responsibility for the First World War was a shared one, spread among all the Great Powers. Now, in The Burden of Guilt, historian Daniel Allen Butler substantively challenges that point of view, establishing that the Treaty of Versailles was actually a correct and fair judgment: Germany did indeed bear the true responsibility for the Great War. Working from government archives and records, as well as personal papers and memoirs of the men who made the decisions that carried Europe to war, Butler interweaves the events of summer 1914 with portraits of the monarchs, diplomats, prime ministers, and other national leaders involved in the crisis. He explores the national policies and goals these men were pursuing, and shows conclusively how on three distinct occasions the Imperial German government was presented with opportunities to contain the spreading crisis—opportunities unlike those of any other nation involved—yet each time, the German government consciously and deliberately chose the path which virtually assured that the Continent would go up in flames. The Burden of Guilt is a work destined to become an essential part of the library of the First World War, vital to understanding not only the “how” but also the “why” behind the pivotal event of modern world history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781480406643
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 304,888
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Daniel Allen Butler is a maritime and military historian, the author (through September 2011) of nine books. Some of his previous works include Unsinkable: the Full Story of RMS Titanic (1998); Distant Victory: The Battle of Jutland and the Allied Triumph in the First World War (2006); The Age of Cunard (2003); The Other Side of the Night: The Carpathia, the Californian, and the Night the Titanic was Lost (2009); The Burden of Guilt: How Germany Shattered the Last Days of Peace, Summer 1914 (2010); and Shadow of the Sultan’s Realm: the Destruction of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (2011). Educated at Hope College, Grand Valley State University, and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Butler served in the United States Army before becoming a full-time author. He is an internationally recognized authority on maritime subjects and a popular guest speaker, having given presentations at the National Archives in Washington, DC, the Mariners’ Museum, and in the United Kingdom. He has also been frequently included in the on-board enrichment series of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2, as well as the ships of the Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise lines. Butler is currently at work on three new projects: The Field Marshal, a biography of Erwin Rommel; The Last Field of Glory: Waterloo, 1815, a history of the Hundred Days; and But for Freedom Alone, the story of the Declaration of Arbroath.  A self-proclaimed “semi-professional beach bum,” Butler divides what little time he spends away from his writing between wandering long stretches of warm, sandy beaches, his love of woodworking, his passion for British sports cars, and his fascination with building model ships. After living and working in Los Angeles, California, for several years, Butler has recently relocated—permanently, he hopes!—to Atlantic Beach, Florida, where the beaches are better. 

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