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The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
Price: £5.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seminal work on World War I, 23 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
All books on history that are worth reading, will require the reader to exercise judgment and Christopher Clark's work is no exception. He does not enter the "blame game" save that if blame is to be attributed it is not to one country or one faction it is to the international class of diplomats, financiers and militarists consistently seeking its own ends whether of personal advancement, chauvanistic nationalism or ill formed notions of the interests of one state or another driven by internal jostling and squabbling
If one wishes to understand this arcane world which the war did much to end then this book is one that must be read. Works that apply simplistic analysis to World War I do not serve understanding of the events. Similarly, works that present the War as a war largely between Germany, Britain and France fail to grasp the real nature of the conflict or place it in its proper context. Clark without advancing it as a thesis demonstrates that a global war could have started by reason of the Agadir crisis in which Britain despite the main actors being Germany and France demonstrated a far greater belligerence than either of those. If war had broken out then the question "What were the origins of WWI?" would have a very different answer and were blame being attributed Britain might well have to accept far more responsibility than it did in 1914. Similar points could made about the critical relations between Austria/Hungary and Russia which always entailed the menace of German involvement in 1912 as the Balkan Wars escalated. Had war started then would Britain even have been involved given the ambivalent nature of its commitment to France and France's own ambivalent relationship (and treaty terms) with Russia?
Clark places the Balkanization of Great Power politics in clear context; this aspect of European history of the time is often undeservedly marginalized partly by reason of it arcane nature and the linguistic problems in dealing with primary sources faced by later historians. Clark does not (as indeed Max Hastings does not) make this error. The Balkan "crisis" or succession of crises over the five years preceding the assassination of Franz Ferdinand is critical to understanding how European and World war became almost inevitable at some point. When one looks at the Agadir crisis it is perhaps the fact that the politics of the time had not become "Balkanized" to the extent that occurred by 1914 that prevented the crisis assuming greater proportions than it did. The cause of itself was inadequate for the German and French people to embrace a war that all knew would be catastrophic. With the rolling war of the Balkans which "ended" in the Treaty of London added to the mix the scale of events assumed a far larger perspective than perhaps they deserved. It still remained a large puzzle to many in every country involved in July 1914, with the possible exception of Serbia, why the great powers were entered on a war for such a remote cause with in many cases allies that only a few short years before were suspect at best and enemies at worst.
Clark elaborates that puzzle with great clarity and adds back to the historical lexicon events that have been overlooked such as the Italo-Turkish War which could with reason be cited as the real cause of the later global conflict. His skill and the detail of his work is compelling making it impossible for others to ignore the real world of international relations and politics that created the crisis. Because it does not seek to lay blame the work is all the more instructive; he does not appear to advance one cause or another nor does he seek to do other than elucidate what have been dark corners of history until now.
The book is not without humanity or character; the likes of Lord Grey are carefully analyzed as are those of Sazanov or Hartwig or Pasic. It might be an aid for Kindle readers to have a hyperlink to the cast of characters section with each name referred to as the cast is enormous and as the politics ebb and flow some, like Conrad to take an example, appear and disappear to reappear later when a reminder of whom and what they were might be useful. In general however the alert and concentrating reader will get through and such is the skill of the writing that individuals do indeed emerge as real personalities. Moreover they are kept as characters in and of their time without attempts to apply too many psychological analyses not available at the time.
If this book is considered too detailed and too concentrated on the arcane world of international relations then the answer is to read Max Hastings book "Catastrophe" at the same time. It is written with his usual skill as a story teller and his superb knowledge and research. He, too, does not allow the reader to fall into easy assumptions or jingoistic justifications but presents a clear and cogent account of some of the same events. Nor does Hastings offer easy answers or dilute the scholarship that is required if one wants to come to some understanding of why the governments of Europe committed their peoples to a war that ultimately led to the destruction or drastic transformation of each of the states involved.
For both then five stars and a suggestion that they are read in tandem. They are works of the highest calibre and present us with real and fresh insights into questions that are still troubling and relevant. Perhaps that is the next book from either or both; what happened, what changed and to what extent such that the question of what caused this conflict is till an issue today such that ill informed politicians will still attempt to politicize it in pursuit of their own ends today.


Sohlberg and the Gift: an Inspector Sohlberg mystery (Inspector Sohlberg Mysteries Book 2)
Sohlberg and the Gift: an Inspector Sohlberg mystery (Inspector Sohlberg Mysteries Book 2)
Price: £0.77

1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 15 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If the book is as bad in Norwegian as it is in the dreadful English translation it deserves less than 0 stars!


AZATOM® iPunch 2 Dock for iPhone 4/4S/5/5C/5S and all iPods: Nano 7G, Touch 5G - has Bluetooth and FM Radio functions with Remote Control - 30 Watts for Amazing Sound - Bluetooth lets you stream your music wirelessly: Perfect for Apple and Android devices - AZATOM® "Audiophile-grade" Custom AZ19.7 DSP Chipset - Stereo Sound with 2 Bassports - Flip-up backrest supports your iPhone/iPod and then covers the connector when not in use - Amazing Value for Money
AZATOM® iPunch 2 Dock for iPhone 4/4S/5/5C/5S and all iPods: Nano 7G, Touch 5G - has Bluetooth and FM Radio functions with Remote Control - 30 Watts for Amazing Sound - Bluetooth lets you stream your music wirelessly: Perfect for Apple and Android devices - AZATOM® "Audiophile-grade" Custom AZ19.7 DSP Chipset - Stereo Sound with 2 Bassports - Flip-up backrest supports your iPhone/iPod and then covers the connector when not in use - Amazing Value for Money
Offered by 4 COOL TECHNOLOGY
Price: £89.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the price, 30 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm delighted with this purchase so far. It arrived the day after placing the order, well packed and secure in good packaging. It is quite easy to miss the small adapter for the iPhone5 or later iPods so be careful when opening and check the inventory.
Set up is about as simple as it gets; plug it in, connect the source of the music, remove the plastic tag from the remote and you can start playing music straight away.
The sound quality is surprisingly good. It has a clear bright tone and handles a range of styles very well. It has a decent bass sound despite its size. I have tried a range of music and cannot fault its performance. The sound fills a large room comfortably and without distortion. I listened to Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez with John Williams performing which tested the performance nicely. In Bluetooth and Line mode it responded extremely well; crisp and clear treble sound with the details perfectly audible and the deeper notes and base lines equally good.
The one complaint is the ludicrously short power cord supplied which makes it difficult to place without the use of trailing extension leads. But for that I would have gone for five stars. However the bother is worth it.


Photo Plus +10 Diopter Macro Closeup Lens for Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 GF2 GX1 G10 G5 G3 G2 G1
Photo Plus +10 Diopter Macro Closeup Lens for Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 GF2 GX1 G10 G5 G3 G2 G1
Offered by Gadget Career
Price: £7.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Class Bit of Kit, 15 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This little lens adapter is simple, cheap and completely effective. It gives great clarity and close ups as good as with any dedicated and expensive macro lens. A must if you want to do close ups of insects or the like. Highly recommended.


Bluetooth Pop Up Portable Mini Travel II Capsule Rechargeable 40mm Speaker For iPhone 6, 5, 5s, 5c, iPod, iPad, Fire Phone and MP3 Players
Bluetooth Pop Up Portable Mini Travel II Capsule Rechargeable 40mm Speaker For iPhone 6, 5, 5s, 5c, iPod, iPad, Fire Phone and MP3 Players
Offered by Betron Limited ( VAT Registered)
Price: £59.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not work at all., 10 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ordered this item and received as scheduled. It would not charge, turn on or make a sound Completely defective. Must be very poor quality control. Avoid
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2013 10:07 PM BST


No Title Available

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy., 10 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Though I like the look and feel of this little camera it simply does not work with a Mac. No amount of tweaking, setting, re-setting, will get it to work other than as a camera wired to the router. And when one sees the less than average picture quality that is achievable when tethered spending any more time is simply not worth it.
The instructions in English are completely inadequate and contain several grammatical and spelling errors. It seems a very dated product and requires a CD drive to access the software; many later Macs do not have such as peripheral software is normally self loading. I am afraid it will be going back.
Could be a lot better and I cannot recommend it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 25, 2013 4:22 AM BST


Crucial 8GB (4GBx2) PC3 10600 1333MHz DDR3 Memory
Crucial 8GB (4GBx2) PC3 10600 1333MHz DDR3 Memory
Offered by FLEXX ram
Price: £79.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Memory card failed, 3 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of the two 4GB cards that I got failed after 6 months and prevented my Mac from booting. It appears that I cannot return this through Amazon or make a claim! Take care when buying this product.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2013 5:29 PM BST


Parker Duofold Pearl & Black Gold Trim Ball Pen - Gift Boxed
Parker Duofold Pearl & Black Gold Trim Ball Pen - Gift Boxed
Price: £169.90

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful pen., 29 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a beautiful pen in appearance and in use. Writes effortlessly and smoothly. The design is superb; one of Parker's best.


Chiostro di Saronno Traditional Panettone in a Gold Tin 1 kg
Chiostro di Saronno Traditional Panettone in a Gold Tin 1 kg
Price: £18.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Well done Amazon!, 19 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not opened to eat just yet as it is a present. The first arrived with the lid badly dented during packaging or handling. Called straight away and a replacement is already on the way and will be with me on time.
Well done Amazon! It is when things go wrong that you can judge how well a company manages. I think we get to eat the original! Even with the dented lid it looks very good.
Even if it is a bit knocked about it will no doubt taste fantastic


Bissell Cleanview Reach Carpet Cleaner
Bissell Cleanview Reach Carpet Cleaner
Price: £129.99

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly finished, 10 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this through Amazon having read the reviews. It arrived on time and was reasonably easy to assemble though the instructions are poor and badly printed. Having done as instructed I set about using it and put the full water bottle on the cleaner. The water simply poured out as the cap of the bottle had a defective or non existent seal ruining a carpet in the process. It appears that the bottle should seal with a spring loaded seal but that was defective. Also the filter on the seal was coming off. It is poorly made and finished. There cannot have been any checks carried out on this cleaner before dispatch. Avoid it.
Tried to return this item to the seller but predictably the courier never turned up and no refund was made! Poor show all round and not a seller or item I would recommend to anyone.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 12, 2013 5:59 PM GMT


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