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July 1914 : countdown to war

Author: Sean McMeekin
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2014
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
When a Serbian-backed assassin gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June 1914, the world seemed unmoved. Even Ferdinand's own uncle, Franz Josef I, was notably ambivalent about the death of the Hapsburg heir, saying simply, "It is God's will." Certainly, there was nothing to suggest that the episode would lead to conflict much less a world war of such massive and horrific proportions that it would  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Sean McMeekin
ISBN: 0465060749 9780465060740
OCLC Number: 853310558
Description: xviii, 460 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Dramatis personae --
Chronology --
Prologue: Sarajevo, Sunday, 28 June 1914 --
I. Reactions. Vienna : anger, not sympathy ; St. Petersburg : no quarter given ; Paris and London : unwelcome interruption ; Berlin : sympathy and impatience --
II. Countdown. The Count Hoyos mission to Berlin : Sunday-Monday, 5-6 July ; War council in Vienna (I) : Tuesday, 7 July ; Radio silence : 8-17 July ; Enter Sazonov : Saturday, 18 July ; War council in Vienna (II) : Sunday, 19 July ; Poincaré meets the Tsar : Monday, 20 July ; Sazonov's threat : Tuesday, 21 July ; Champagne summit : Wednesday-Thursday, 22-23 July ; Anti-ultimatum and ultimatum : Thursday, 23 July ; Sazonov strikes : Friday, 24 July ; Russia, France, and Serbia stand firm : Saturday, 25 July ; Russia prepares for war : Sunday, 26 July ; The Kaiser returns : Monday, 27 July ; "You have got me into a fine mess" : Tuesday, 28 July ; "I will not be responsible for a monstrous slaughter!" : Wednesday, 29 July ; Slaughter it is : Thursday, 30 July ; Last Chance Saloon : Friday, 31 July ; "Now you can do what you want" : Saturday, 1 August ; Britain wakes up to the danger : Sunday, 2 August ; Sir Edward Grey's big moment : Monday, 3 August ; World war, no going back : Tuesday, 4 August --
Epilogue: The question of responsibility.
Responsibility: Sean McMeekin.

Abstract:

When a Serbian-backed assassin gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June 1914, the world seemed unmoved. Even Ferdinand's own uncle, Franz Josef I, was notably ambivalent about the death of the Hapsburg heir, saying simply, "It is God's will." Certainly, there was nothing to suggest that the episode would lead to conflict much less a world war of such massive and horrific proportions that it would fundamentally reshape the course of human events. As the author, a historian reveals in July 1914, World War I might have been avoided entirely had it not been for a small group of statesmen who, in the month after the assassination, plotted to use Ferdinand's murder as the trigger for a long-awaited showdown in Europe. The primary culprits, moreover, have long escaped blame. While most accounts of the war's outbreak place the bulk of responsibility on German and Austro-Hungarian militarism, the author draws on new evidence from archives across Europe to show that the worst offenders were actually to be found in Russia and France, whose belligerence and duplicity ensured that war was inevitable. Whether they plotted for war or rode the whirlwind nearly blind, each of the men involved, from Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold von Berchtold and German Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov and French president Raymond Poincare sought to capitalize on the fallout from Ferdinand's murder, unwittingly leading Europe toward the greatest cataclysm it had ever seen. A revolutionary account of the genesis of World War I, this book tells the story of Europe's countdown to war from the bloody opening act on June 28th to Britain's final plunge on August 4th, showing how a single month, and a handful of men changed the course of the twentieth-century. --Provided by publisher.

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