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War by Timetable: How the First World War Began
 
 

War by Timetable: How the First World War Began [Kindle Edition]

A J P Taylor
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

'The First World War had begun - imposed on the statesmen of Europe by railway timetables. It was an unexpected climax to the railway age.'

A. J. P. Taylor was one of the most acclaimed historians of the twentieth century.

His most provocative legacy was his insistence on the roles of accident and inadvertence in the outbreak of both world wars.

First published in 1969, his book 'War by Timetable' still resonates and informs debates.

'War By Timetable' is a history of the mobilisation of the armies of the Great Powers in 1914. Taylor not only argues that the circumstances were already set for a general war, he also examines the flaws in the war plans of the Great Powers.

All the plans depended on railways, which had been timed to the minute, months or even years in advance. As the train platforms grew longer (to accommodate prospective armies) the odds upon a great conflict grew shorter.

The timetables and limited resources that were meant to serve as a deterrent to war instead relentlessly drove the powers into a conflict that engulfed the world.

'War By Timetable' is one of the finest history books ever written, a must read for anyone interested in the origins of the First World War.

Taylor's work has been widely praised:

" A.J. P Taylor's 'war by timetable thesis' caused great controversy when it first appeared over 40 years ago. It remains hugely controversial, today, and is essential reading for anyone interested in the debate on the origins on the First World War"' - Professor Gary Sheffield, author 'Forgotten Victories'.

'A miracle of proportion, language and insight' - Robert Skidelsky

'A dazzling exercise in revisionism which summed up Taylor's paradoxical, provocative and inventive approach to history' - The Times

'Taylor was a lifelong dissenter ... he shifted the ground of major debates' - Ben Pimlott, The Financial Times

'No historian of the past century has been more accessible.' - Niall Ferguson, The Sunday Telegraph

'An almost faultless masterpiece' - The Observer

'Highly original and penetrating ... No one who has digested this enthralling work will ever be able to look at the period again in quite the same way'
- The Sunday Telegraph

A.J.P. Taylor (1906-90) was one of the most controversial historians of the twentieth century. He served as a lecturer at the Universities of Manchester, Oxford, and London. Taylor was significant both for the controversy his work on Germany and the Second World War engendered and for his role in the development of history on television.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

Synopsis

War by Time-table is a history of the mobilization of the armies of the Great Powers in 1914. AJP Taylor not only argues that the circumstances were already set for a general war, (he may state in the opening pages of his First World War that Europe of the early 1910s was a peaceful looking place, nevertheless he knew about the figures of industrial production, colonial expansion, and territorial demands of the era) he also names the specific flaw in the war plans of the Great Powers (especially Germany) that, when ignited, would make the war unavoidable. All mobilization plans depended on railways. At that time the automobile was hardly used, certainly not as an instrument of mass transport, and railways demand time tables. All the mobilization plans had been timed to the minute, months or even years before and they could not be changed. Modification in one direction would ruin them in every other direction. Any attempt for instance by the Austrians to mobilize against Serbia would mean that they could not then mobilize against Russian because two lots of trains would be running against each other. The same problem was to arise later for the Russians and in the end for the Germans who, having a plan to

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1451 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press Ltd.; 1 edition (19 Jun 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DIDASXA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,516 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of style and substance 16 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Not all of AJP Taylor's arguments in this book are given the credence they once were among academics and First World War enthusiasts, but this book is still a must read (for it's style and substance). War by Timetable used to be a set text for students when discussing WW1. In terms of engaging with European history and being written by one of the great non-fiction prose stylists of the 20th century it should be again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 3 Sep 2013
By Dorothy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is essential reading for anyone interested in World War One, whether you're a student or scholar. Taylor is an entertaining writer and his wit and judgement still resonate today.

This book concerns itself more with European History, rather than just being British focused, but War by Timetable is all the stronger for it. As with Norman Stone's recent book on WW1 the genius of Taylor is his brevity. There will be books twice as long as this one published in the next few years but they will, at best, say half as much.
Despite the grave subject matter there is still a wonderful, dry humour to Taylor's prose which popular historians of today might wish to emulate more, or be envious of.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Veteran book still relevant today 11 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Written in AJP Taylor's very readable style. It is a lucid, concise account of the events in early 1914. The "war by timetable" aspect is only a minor part of the account and the title is probably down to good marketing by the original publishers! Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Am duly looking forward to Max Hastings' forthcoming book, Catastrophe, on the origins of the First World War but as superb a writer as Hastings is this short-ish but stylishly written book by one of the 20th century's greatest historians will be hard to top. War by Timetable is a book about diplomacy (or the failings of it) rather than military history. Each of the major players was culpable, in varying degrees, in terms of the folly (or follies) which increased and caused the Great War. Bluffs were or weren't called at the wrong time. Communication and sensible decision making, via checks and balances, were lacking. All in all, it was the failure of politicians/rulers which led to the greatest tragedy of the 20th century (the greatest because in many ways it was the cause many of the other great tragedies which followed). This is an an intelligent and accessible read, with the author writing with insight and wit. Loved this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction 13 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a good introduction to how world war one started. As it is a fairly short book, more reading is required for more in depth information.

I found it well written and read most of it on a one and a half hour flight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AJP at his best 29 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Given the number of books on the beginning of WW1 just now, I am surprised that this first class book has not been given more prominence. It certainly deserves it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary historian 20 Sep 2013
By Rugby3
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr Taylor is rightly acknowledged as one of the world's best historians and in this insightful classic he pulls back the curtain on the preparations and implementation of military movements before and during WW1 in a clear and comprehensible way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 16 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a fascinating read about the lead-up to the beginning of WWI, or how Europe practically found itself at war by accident, and despite that fact that no one actually wanted to go to war.

The personalities that come out of this account make you wonder about the men in charge of important decisions right across the continent, and would fill no one with confidence. As history books go, it is alive with dithering, changes of mind, keeping face, bluffing, misunderstanding and wilful untruths, so totally unlike your average dry history book.

It's short and sweet, doesn't get bogged down, and comes and highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and enjoyable
The reporting of the history of the events flowed and held my attention
However an introduction to the characters involved at the beginning would have made the understanding... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Bob Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of my views have been challenged and changed by this book.
With the anniversary of WWI fast approaching, I wanted to brush up my knowledge of World War I and its origins. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stepas
5.0 out of 5 stars AJP HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE REST.
Written in a time when WWII had only recently finished this is a masterful account of how Europe went to a dreadful war. A very well presented read, highly recommended.
Published 1 month ago by Portlander
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic analysis of the causes and start of the First World War
Very good analysis which considers the impact of the both the attitudes and misconceptions of the key characters involved in the events which lead to the outbreak of war and how... Read more
Published 2 months ago by P C Brickwood
3.0 out of 5 stars a series of blunders
If you want a no-nonsense readable account of why war broke out in 1914, this is the book for you.
It’s quite short by AJP’s standard but it carries his strong philosophy... Read more
Published 2 months ago by DennisF
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and painless introduction to a major tragedy
AJP Taylor has an excellent reputation as a historian. I have found inthe past that amny historians write extremely well - many could take up fiction writing as a side-line - and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John Gerard Shadman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great author and a grat book.
A.J.P. Taylor was surely one of our great historians and in this the centenary of the conflict is still interesting and relevant.
Published 3 months ago by Dave Atherton
5.0 out of 5 stars Taylor ww1
Pretty straightforward analysis of causes and responsibilities for outbreak of ww1. Now superseded by more complex analyses and theories. A good read
Published 3 months ago by jpm
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest
I found this book to seemingly be an honest and open account of the build up to WW1. I base this on previously read articles and tv documentary that I have been following. Read more
Published 4 months ago by geoff blunden
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic account
A classic
Gives a challenging point of view from a brilliant historian. A must read for an alternative analysis of why WW1 started and who was responsible.
Published 5 months ago by safc
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