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An Absolute Gem!,
This review is from: The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned peace for the First World War (Kindle Edition)
If, like me, you believe the Second World War was really little more than an extension of the first, understanding how it all started goes a long way to putting the 20th century into perspective. Margaret MacMillan does a brilliant job of it in this book.
It’s easy to criticize the individuals involved in making the decisions that led Europe to war in 1914. Perhaps a little too easy. To fully appreciate how a tragedy of this magnitude could be allowed to happen, one really needs to step back and look at the period in question as a whole, the politics of the age and the social and economic trends that conspired to lull so many into a false sense of security in what was, in retrospect, a powder keg waiting for a match. This book is a detailed, thoroughly researched and brilliantly written account, offering a look at the wider picture so essential to gaining a true understanding of the period. From the inherent dangers of autocratic rule to the influence of social Darwinism and the unintended consequences of strategic alliances, the author exposes the intriguing web of interconnected circumstances and historic shifts that conspired in the most monumental calamity of the modern age.
I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone wishing to gain a deeper insight into this dark chapter in history, much of which still shapes the continent today.