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The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War
The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War
Price: 3.89

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleep Walking Into War, 26 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A gripping read, suitable for a history novice, or an expert.
Beginning with the Paris Exhibition of 1900, Prof MacMillan charts European history to the outbreak of war, picking out, with the benefit of all we now know, how a series of events, along with a prevailing culture of militarism, and theories of how war should be conducted, and all the limitations of the period too, brought us closer to war.
As the introduction makes clear, it was not so much that the European powers intended to go to war, its that the various options were gradually narrowed down, so war became, apparently the only choice. I say apparently, for as Margaret Macmillan points out, there are always choices.
Even as we all know the outcome, the book holds the reader in suspense, as time and events march on.
Throughout the book we get a sympathetic appreciation for all the key players, with their strengths and foibles. Each chapter deals with significant events, e.g. the two Morocco crises, the Balkan wars, or aspects and movements of the time, e.g. the peace movements, military plans, militarism. We learn how all of this shapes the leaders of the day, and the various alliances that form between the powers. In the main, there's helpful analysis towards the end of each chapter, of what impact these events/factors had on the path to war. We also get an appreciation of the period, and how the key players were men (mainly men) of their time.
We are treated throughout the book to a then European perspective. How Europeans felt, how Europeans reacted, what values Europeans held dear, and so on. We get an insight into early 20th century European culture; this I found refreshing, exhilarating almost, drawing out a European identity. My one question, given Europe's diversity today, and even more so then, how deep could a European identity really run?
The final chapter - called the Epilogue - gives a brief summary of what happened after the close of war in 1919, and particularly satisfying, what happened to all the key players. (Did you know that the Kaiser lived until 1941 in The Netherlands?).
A great read - I'm encouraged to read MM's sequel (or the other book end to the Great War), "Peacemakers: Six Months That Changed The World" as well as her analysis of the "Uses and Abuses of History".


The Last Mughal: The Fall of Delhi, 1857
The Last Mughal: The Fall of Delhi, 1857
Price: 0.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Tour De Force, 8 Nov 2013
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Brilliant book, riveting, reading like a novel, from start to finish. Also very scholarly, with lots of fascinating footnotes.
The history of the time speaks to our time, with imperial arrogance, coming up against religious and cultural sensibilities, and little or no understanding. Had there been more understanding, could it have been avoided? I'm left feeling, quite possibly, yes. Surely a big lesson for our time.
Most alarming is the blood letting and revenge. To say, "it couldn't happen today," is very dangerous. l It could, and we need to guard against it with robust checks and balances on all our statutory authorities.
In a similar vein we need to keep a close check on our security agencies, in the light of the Snowden revelations.


The Architects
The Architects
Price: 4.80

4.0 out of 5 stars From the other side..., 8 July 2013
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This review is from: The Architects (Kindle Edition)
Well written book, giving insight into how it felt to live in the Cold War era from "the other side". Issues are never black and white, and this book brings this out in a compelling (and very readable account) of a family torn apart by their history. I really enjoyed it, and was left with thought provoking questions at the last page, even though the story was satisfactorily resolved. Read it!


What You Always Wanted to Know About Heaven
What You Always Wanted to Know About Heaven
by Catherine Butcher
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Window on Heaven, 15 Nov 2012
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Brillant little book, that I used for a basis of a preaching series. Book itself small & cheap enough to encourage congregation to buy own copies.


Dogma and Disarray: Cameron at Half-Time
Dogma and Disarray: Cameron at Half-Time
Price: 1.54

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise & Hard Hitting, 15 Nov 2012
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If half of what's written is true, it is very disturbing. (I have no reason to doubt its truthfulness). In its content it reads more like a tabloid scare than a considered Guardian piece. Powerful piece of work.


The Fortune of the Rougons
The Fortune of the Rougons
Price: 0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fortune of the Rougons, 20 Sep 2012
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A very good read, setting out the family background to the Rougon - Marcquart series (of 20 novels). I'm encouraged to read more in this series.
The Fortune... contains a lot of descriptive writing, some paragraphs lasting a page plus. There's not a huge amount of action, but the story is carefully built up, and compelling. I found it an excellent read.


Mr. Large in Charge
Mr. Large in Charge
by Jill Murphy
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars For Bored Parents too!, 2 Oct 2008
This review is from: Mr. Large in Charge (Paperback)
Super book, as are all in this series! The Large family is a real family! It makes a good read for parents who may otherwise be bored with toddlers books repeated endless times!! Mr Large is just like Mr Bowen!! (Not in size or looks, but in his competance when Mrs L is off duty!).


Trust 15.4" Notebook Backpack BG-4400p
Trust 15.4" Notebook Backpack BG-4400p

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notebook Backpack. Excellent, 2 Oct 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent value for money. With 15.4" notebook, very comfortable to wear. As well as notebook space (well padded on both sides, and well adapted to the curveture of your back) it has two large spaces ideal for books/folders etc and cables. The book/folders space (easily accomadates A4) is expandable; there's an all-round zip that gives an extra 2" of depth. Within large spaces are numerous smaller pockets (5) for disks, pens, credit cards, and two more on the outside. There's even a strap with a hook for a bunch of keys! I'm very pleased!


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