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144 of 152 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Failure of Brinkmanship
'Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death' (Bismarck).

'It had to come' (US Ambassador in London, 1914).

'Torture and Cannibalism were the only two expedients that the civilised, scientific, Christian States had been able to deny themselves:and these were of doubtful utility'. (W.Churchill).

'Please restrain Conrad'...
Published 21 months ago by Dr Barry Clayton

versus
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, precise language but so repetitive
They Were Counted (The Writing on the Wall: the Transylvanian Trilogy)

I was so excited about this book because Prof. Macmillan's general reviews have been excellent and I have just finished the Transylvanian Trilogy which she quotes (link above) so getting a better idea of the causes of WWI was of great interest.

There is no doubt that Prof...
Published 19 months ago by H. M. Sykes


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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first-rate in-depth study, 29 Nov. 2013
By 
R. T. Stevens "Rog" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War (Hardcover)
I find this book full of information and insights that put the flesh on the bare bones of a well-worn history. It also helps to explode some of the myths about the origins of the War and to shed light on the actual outlook and behaviour of the participants in the preceding quarter century. In addition it is written in a very readable style, I wish that books like this had been around 50 years ago when I was a student!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I understand how and why the war started now., 1 April 2014
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At times this is a magnificently written book with fascinating detail about the people and events that drew us into the war. The characters of the Kaiser are beautifully crafted, along with Grey and Moltke and many more. There is description of the events and impact of social movements at the time for pacifism, socialism, women's suffrage and Irish severance. The fears of the fading Austrian-Hungarian Empire, the ambitions of the central European power of Germany, the manipulation of national leaders are all explained in this epic history.
My only criticism is that there is quite a lot of movement between dates which left me at times having to work out the order for myself.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A portrait of hope and folly, 4 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War (Hardcover)
This is an epic tale of Europe in the years before the First World War. Despite its size, it never seems like a chore and Dr MacMillan moves effortlessly through dozens of biographical portraits, intersecting them with accurate observations about Europe's changing sociological and political climates, that it often reads as a portrait of an age, before turning into a depressing but compelling political thriller as it recounts the squandered opportunities that led to the war. Firm in its opinions, it's excellently written and one of the best accounts of why Europe so foolishly laid waste to itself in 1914.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Greek Tragedy., 16 Oct. 2014
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This has energy and momentum, and manages to hold together the wider political perspective and forces that influence society and the effects of personalities and private events. There are enough similarites to current times to be disturbing. What impressed me was that there was no inevitability of war, and there were many groups and individuals campaigining for peace. Increasingly as the book moves on the alternatives dwindle away and the ropes seem to tighten. Moving and informative.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 30 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War (Hardcover)
This is a fantastic book that I simply couldn't put down. It provides a fascinating insight into the environment in the build up to the war. Pleasingly, it also does so from a range of perspectives, taking in many of the main protagonists in the conflict. With the war commemorations next year likely to take both a nationalistic approach and also focus on the war itself rather than the lessons we can learn from the events that led to it, this book is a must read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man's stupidity writ large., 24 Mar. 2014
By 
Mr. D. McKenna "foliofreak" (East Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War (Hardcover)
Of all the books that I have read about WW1 this is clearly the best in my opinion. Prof MacMillan sets out in clear, easy to read English, the steps leading up to war itself and I found myself thinking often whilst reading the book....."why are you doing/saying this?" ...as stupidity and arrogance brought disaster ever closer. If you are interested in polemology (the study of war) then this is for you.
Read it and weep for mankind.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, 27 Mar. 2014
This review is from: The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War (Hardcover)
A very well researched book, as always by Margaret Macmillan, but as has already been commented on, repetitive. You almost want to say at times, "Okay, got the point, let's move forward". And also, it seems to be written from the perspective of the British, so of course, doesn't make for an extremely objective rendering of a complex chapter. But she does write well and the subject is so interesting, so 4 stars...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slow burner, 28 Mar. 2014
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D. Payne (UK) - See all my reviews
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Having read a few military histories (and this isn't one) I have been used to a linear narrative and lots of numbers and dates. This book is nutlike that at all, and weaves to and fro, and I found that initially frustrating and disorientating. However, as the tension builds towards the last few weeks on the summer of 1914, the early groundwork pays dividends. Stick with this book to the end and be rewarded.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a sense of deja vu, 24 Mar. 2014
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This book is extraordinarily well researched, and written and with such a lightness of touch that you won't notice how much information you're taking in, in an entertaining way. Personally, we read to each other out loud each night and we're working our way through this - but with the details included, it feels as if we're witnessing, or participating in...a re-enactment of this book!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good summary of the events and people and moods leading up to WW1, 4 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War (Hardcover)
Beautifully written.
Covers each of the countries, the main players, and the ideas and ideals of the age, in turn, leading one inexorably to the madness of war. All the facsinating little facts and the reports and correspondence from so many players has been carefully woven into a most coherent picture.
Only downside - it wieghs a ton, so its hard to read in bed!
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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 by Professor Margaret MacMillan (Hardcover - 17 Oct. 2013)
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