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The Origins of the First World War (Origins Of Modern Wars) [Paperback]

James Joll , Gordon Martel
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Oct 2006 0582423791 978-0582423794 3

James Joll's study is not simply another narrative, retracing the powder trail that was finally ignited at Sarajevo. It is an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis of the historical forces at work in the Europe of 1914, and the very different ways in which historians have subsequently attempted to understand them. The importance of the theme, the breadth and sympathy of James Joll's scholarship, and the clarity of his exposition, have all contributed to the spectacular success of the book since its first appearance in 1984.

Revised by Gordon Martel, this new 3rd edition accommodates recent research and an expanded further reading section.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 3 edition (5 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582423791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582423794
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

‘Gordon Martel has done the impossible: he has made James Joll’s The Origins of the First World War once more the premier study on why war came in 1914…Martel has not simply updated Joll’s contribution but enhanced and improved it… A triumph of both scholarship and editorial talent; James Joll would have been pleased.’

Samuel R. Williamson Jr., University of the South.

‘Probably the best comprehensive history of the origins of World War I available in the English language… Gordon Martel’s [revision] will make certain that the book's deep insights will continue to captivate and inspire future generations of students and others interested in…the Great War.’

Volker Berghahn, ColumbiaUniversity.

Of the Second Edition:

'This succinct and, above all, admirably clear volume...will be essential reading for all students of the subject… It is written with lightness of touch and an eye for the telling anecdote that will commend it to the general reader too.' 

British Book News

‘...this scholarly, comprehensive and subtle analysis should be made compulsory reading for all students of the period and, most of all, for the decision-makers of today.’


John F V Keiger, History

From the Back Cover

‘Gordon Martel has done the impossible: he has madeJames Joll’s The Origins of the First World War once more the premier study on why war came in 1914…Martel has not simply updated Joll’s contribution but enhanced and improved it… A triumph of both scholarship and editorial talent; James Joll would have been pleased.’

Samuel R. Williamson Jr., University of the South.

‘Probably the best comprehensive history of the origins of World War I available in the English language… Gordon Martel’s [revision] will make certain that the book's deep insights will continue to captivate and inspire future generations of students and others interested in…the Great War.’

Volker Berghahn, ColumbiaUniversity.

Of the Second Edition:

'This succinct and, above all, admirably clear volume...will be essential reading for all students of the subject… It is written with lightness of touch and an eye for the telling anecdote that will commend it to the general reader too.' 

British Book News

‘...this scholarly, comprehensive and subtle analysis should be made compulsory reading for all students of the period and, most of all, for the decision-makers of today.’
John F V Keiger, History
 

James Joll was one of the 20th century’s most eminent historians of international history. In this now classic text he produced a careful, clear and concise evaluation of the multitude of explanations that had been advanced to explain the causes of one of the most significant events in modern history.

 

In this new edition Gordon Martel has seamlessly weaved into the original text the enormous amount of new research on the subject that has been conducted by historians over the past twenty years. New arguments and the new debates that this research have generated have been integrated, and the bibliography expanded and updated.

 

The Origins of the First World War is an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis of the historical forces at work in the Europeof 1914, and the very different ways in which historians have subsequently attempted to understand them.

 

The late James Joll was Emeritus Professor of the University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Gordon Martel is Professor of History at the University of Northern British Columbia. He is a leading historian of war and empire in the modern world.

 


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This volume is the work of two highly distinguished historians: James Joll and Gordon Martel. Joll's book (of which this is the third edition) has rightly deserved a place for many years on the reading list of anyone serious about getting to grips with the complex question of the outbreak of war in 1914.

Joll and Martel are distinguished historians in their own right and not only do they use their historical knowledge and judgement with skill, but are able to reflect upon and include the views of other historians who have examined this vexed historical question.

The book deals with all the major theories in a thematic rather than chronological fashion. For instane, the question of secret diplomacy, political/philosophical ideas, military plans and the 'July Crisis' besides others.

This work is probably of most use to the able AS/A2 student and and undergraduates, but the quality of Joll and Martel's writing suggests the general reader (with some prior knowledge of the backgroun historical events) would find this a highly thought-provoking and rewarding read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summary of the period 22 Feb 2004
Format:Paperback
Joll provides a good description of the different elements we need to take into account when discussing what the causes of the First World War were. One major drawback is that it seems to lack detailed analysis of these elements. Also in the chapters on economics and internal conflicts within the different countries, I could not see many links between these different problems and the bearing they might have had on the decision to go to war.
But despite these criticisms, it is a highly informative book that is a useful introduction to this particular period of history. It is suitable for historians at any level.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for serious students 5 Sep 2002
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book for the discerning student of the Origins of the First World War. The content is well presented and in a manner that the A-Level Student through to the amateur historian would find accessible.
The causes are dealt with in turn, from the formation of Germany to the shooting of Franz Ferdinand. If you are studying a course to do with the Origins of the First World War then this is an excellent addition to your reading list.
A must for the serious student.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book expertly explains the many complex strands that led to the War.

I have read several account of the War, but this one struck me as being exceptionally balanced and expertly researched.

I am frankly in awe of James Joll's breadth of knowledge, his research skills and his ability to convey complex issues to the layman.

If you are seeking great insights into the causes of the War then this is the book for you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful 21 April 2009
Format:Paperback
Highly readable well presented with clear argument and summary of the main historical origins of the war.
Structured by themes in the form of essays this book is very useful for undergraduates.
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