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Margaret MacMillan

Autor(a) de Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

17+ Works 6,447 Membros 154 Críticas 7 Favorited

About the Author

Margaret MacMillan is the award-winning author of Paris 1919, Nixon and Mao, and Women of the Raj. A past provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, MacMillan is the warden of St. Antony's College at Oxford University.
Image credit: Greg Smolonski

Obras por Margaret MacMillan

Associated Works

Barbara W. Tuchman : The Guns of August, The Proud Tower (1995) — Editor, algumas edições295 exemplares
I Wish I'd Been There, Book Two: European History (2008) — Contribuidor — 152 exemplares
Lloyd George: War Leader, 1916-1918 (2002) — Posfácio — 26 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



A brilliant volume, meeting and exceeding the dust jacket breathlessness of those who endorsed it. This is a scholar and writer at the very top of her game, sharing wisdom on every page.
threegirldad | 14 outras críticas | Jan 30, 2024 |
Was a lot less about how war has shaped us then I would have liked. Read more like a historical rundown in random order of her broken out topics: weapons, why we go to war, civilians, etc. the part that went towards the subtitle premise was on weapons. How the weapons changed the nature and structures of the wars. for instance, once the gun was invented and people had to be shot at close range, discipline to hold your ground and move as a unit in strict coordination became the method. Dance followed suit with highly choreographed contra style dancing became popular. I wish the whole book had brought those sorts of effects to light.… (mais)
BookyMaven | 14 outras críticas | Dec 6, 2023 |
zacherlaw1 | 14 outras críticas | Nov 24, 2023 |
So there’s that humorous moment out there: someone asking about how World War I started, and how the explanation would take many hours or days.

It’s funny because it’s true, and it’s true because of the sheer futility of the whole enterprise. World War I started because of diplomatic failures and fears about dishonor, weakness, and good old-fashioned prejudice juiced by the newer phenomenon of nationalism.

And so it takes a book of over 800 pages to describe what brought Europe to war in 1914, well described by Margaret MacMillan in the well titled The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914.

The author began by describing Europe’s situation in the late nineteenth century. She then considers each major participant and their experience of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the relationships among them. She describes a world in which the various powers are all run by a small elite coterie who know each other well, are often related to each other, and could present a picture of a broadly cosmopolitan continent. She focuses on certain characters who reflect the cosmopolitan attitudes of the day, people who maintain friendships and good times with people throughout Europe. She is able to speak of how many were vacationing in areas which would soon become enemy territory within weeks in the summer of 1914.

She then describes the various crises which arose in the late 19th and early 20th century which, in retrospect, set up the conditions for war in 1914: twice about Morocco, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Balkan wars. In each of these situations some felt they were dishonored or shown as weak. Over time Germany convinced itself it was being encircled for nefarious reasons; France and Russia likewise looked warily on Germany and its belligerence; Austria-Hungary is always on the precipice of breaking apart.

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand in late June 1914 is described as well as its immediate aftereffects. Almost no one, at the time, expected this to be the catalyst for war. And yet, with decision after decision, war became inevitable. When it came it did so more suddenly than anyone had imagined. And it would prove more horrible than anyone could have ever feared.

World War I was truly the war that ended peace. Cosmopolitan Europe was shattered; the age of progress was irretrievably reversed. The German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian Empires would not survive the war. World War II, in many respects, was a continuation of World War I, the German attempt at retrieving the honor they lost in the first conflict. Even in victory Britain and France would be exhausted twice and would ultimately lose their empires. Europe remains industrialized and among the advanced nations but destroyed their power and influence in these conflicts. The difference between Europe in 1913 and 1919 is stark; all the more so by 1953.

So what caused the war? Yes, Germany declared war on Russia since Russia was mobilizing since Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia. Austria-Hungary went for broke to either absorb the South Slavs or collapse in a blaze of glory, fueled by the conservative aristocracy fearing dishonor and weakness more than anything else. Germany proved overly confident in their war plans and believed their own rhetoric about themselves, the French, the British, and ultimately the Americans (and would do so again twenty-five years later). Everyone was convinced they could go on the offensive and overpower their enemies quickly even though all available evidence demonstrated the defensive advantage thanks to advanced armament technology. They were too proud to learn from the experience of the “savages” in the American Civil War or the Boer War.

Untold millions suffered because of the hubris of that elite coterie of the fin de siècle. Modern democratic Europe arose from its ashes.

Such things could happen again. And it always starts with an aggrieved elite concerned about prospective irrelevance perceived as dishonor and weakness. Economic ties are not sufficient to avoid it. And, apparently, we never learn.
… (mais)
2 vote
deusvitae | 34 outras críticas | Sep 16, 2023 |



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