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The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914

– tekijä: Christopher Clark

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

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1,530408,631 (4.22)122
An authoritative chronicle, drawing on new research on World War I, traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute narrative that examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914.
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englanti (33)  espanja (4)  ranska (2)  saksa (1)  Kaikki kielet (40)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 40) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Whoa, Bosnia, Serbia, turn of the 20th c., the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Hope I can hold up under the weight of 800 some odd pages!
Finished. Very, very good and highly recommended if you have the interest and wherewithal! ( )
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
This was a difficult book to rate as it was quite a fresh approach to the topic of how World War I started and was obviously well researched and the facts and author's interpretations of them were presented to inform the reader, but it was very dry and although a large book seems to suffer from being edited to keep its one volume but could have benefited form some further elaboration and summaries into 2 volumes. It is a difficult read for what is presented as a complex topic.

That said, I have still rated it as an excellent book as it presents the complexity of how WWI started and enables the reader to see the points the author is making about how Europe drifted into a global war. The usual simplistic reasons and blames for the start of the war are included but expanded upon both in detail and placed in context to make the reader to be able to see that the causes of the war were not simple and blame can not be attributed to one or two congeries or people. ( )
  Daniel_M_Oz | May 6, 2020 |
When I was sixteen, I could identify city "A" (it was usually Algeciras) and territory "B" (invariably The Sanjak of Novi Pazar) on a map of Europe without hesitation, and take you from Sarajevo to the invasion of Belgium in exactly 750 words. (I could also have done you "Bismarck's Domestic Policy" or "African Colonialism and the Congress of Berlin" for the same money.) How the European powers got themselves into such a horrifically destructive conflict in 1914 is one of the most enduring puzzles of modern history, and for the overwhelming majority of us it's a subject that had some sort of tangible consequence for our lives - relatives killed or displaced, borders redrawn, etc. What family album doesn't have at least one picture of a young uncle or grandparent looking proud but slightly uncomfortable in a new uniform, or an aunt dressed up as a nurse or a bus conductor? So there's always a kind of fatalistic fascination about works of narrative history that take it on - perhaps we even read them with a secret hope that this time "it will all come out right in the end" and the plumed hats of Europe will not go down the path to war...

Clark's line in this masterly and comprehensive account is essentially that he wants to focus on the "how" and not get involved with theorising about the "why". He points out the problems with narratives that are based on ideas of "guilt" or "blame", and instead looks mostly at the processes by which states, institutions and individuals took decisions, the information that they had, the political constraints they operated under, and their real and buried motives when taking them. And of course he takes into account that the published information about how all this happened was usually exposed to subsequent manipulation by those concerned (or their successors in office). No-one wanted to look like "the idiot who started the war" in his own memoirs.

This is interesting, because it leaves a lot of room for the two mechanisms historians usually hate above all else - "agency" (things happen because of what someone does) and "contingency" (things happen by accident). And it's clear that, in the world of pre-1914 European politics, there were a lot of crucial foreign policy decisions that had to be taken on their own by ministers, generals, ambassadors or heads of state. As Clark describes it, Cabinet discussions and collective decision-making were only part of the institutional structure in a few places (notably Britain and Russia) and even there they could be short-circuited by a dominant foreign minister used to getting his own way (Sir Edward Grey in England, Sergei Dmitrievich Sazonov in Russia). Parliaments, of course, hardly enter into things at all. Newspapers are starting to be an important element, but Clark points out the confused approach many statesmen had to them, often failing to distinguish their use as a channel for publishing propaganda at home and abroad from their contradictory use as a barometer of "public opinion".

Clark is obviously very conscious of the specific "blame-the-loser narrative" against Germany that was created in the light of the Versailles Treaty and reinforced by historians of the generation that fought the Nazis, and he's someone with a very close affinity to German history and the Hohenzollerns, so you do occasionally get the feeling in this book that he might be over-compensating by the stress he puts on the contribution to the slide into war made by Russia, France and Britain - Sazonov, Poincaré and Grey in particular are shown as acting in dangerous and irresponsible ways during the 1914 crisis, whilst events in Germany and Austria at the same time seem to get rather less coverage. The book has sometimes been criticised by reviewers for seeming to whitewash the Central Powers. I don't think that's an entirely fair accusation: Clark does point out failings in the ways both Austria and Germany reacted to the crisis, but (as we already saw in Iron Kingdom) he doesn't really believe in the idea that there was an over-riding "Prussian cult of militarism".

If there ever was a main cause of the First World War, it seems to have been the reliance by statesmen on all sides on a policy of "firmness" ("they will never fight us if we show that we're willing to fight them - and if they do we will beat them anyway") coupled with a failure to think through what the consequences of modern war would actually mean for their country. And worryingly, even if we've got better at international conflict-resolution in the intervening century, we still seem to have a lot of leaders around the world who put their faith in threats and missiles... ( )
2 ääni thorold | Nov 28, 2017 |
This is a densely-written, detailed and studious guide to the origins of the Great War.

It covers events from the mid-nineteenth century until the war's aftermath and includes some references to modern European political issues as well, notably the Eurozone crisis of 2011/12.

I felt that the book, though interesting and extremely thorough, lacked a summary overview, or perhaps a timeline of the key events discussed.

In consequence, in my view, this is a hard read. It's probably best approached as a textbook of European history and studied accordingly. Careful study like this would be worthwhile for anyone seeking an intensive background to the various conflicts which gave rise to the war mentality of different European nation states at the beginning of the twentieth century. ( )
  SunnyJim | Aug 28, 2017 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 40) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
The distinctive achievement of “The Sleepwalkers” is Clark’s single-volume survey of European history leading up to the war. That may sound dull. Quite the contrary. It is as if a light had been turned on a half-darkened stage of shadowy characters cursing among themselves without reason.
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Christopher Clarkensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetcalculated
Juraschitz, NorbertKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Ljoenes, RichardKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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for Josef and Alexander
Ensimmäiset sanat
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The European continent was at peace on the morning of Sunday 28 June 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek arrived at Sarajevo railway station.
INTRODUCTION
Sitaatit
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It was in the nature of great men, Paleologue would later write, to play such fateful games.  The 'man of action' he observed in his study of Cavour, becomes 'a gambler, for each grave action implies not only an anticipation of the future, but a claim to be able to decide events, to lead and control them'.
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Canonical DDC/MDS
An authoritative chronicle, drawing on new research on World War I, traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute narrative that examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914.

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