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The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914

by

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 Cover

ISBN13: 9780061146664
ISBN10: 0061146668
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On the morning of June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie Chotek, arrived at Sarajevo railway station, Europe was at peace. Thirty-seven days later, it was at war. The conflict that resulted would kill more than fifteen million people, destroy three empires, and permanently alter world history.

The Sleepwalkers reveals in gripping detail how the crisis leading to World War I unfolded. Drawing on fresh sources, it traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts among the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade. Distinguished historian Christopher Clark examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.

How did the Balkans — a peripheral region far from Europe's centers of power and wealth — come to be the center of a drama of such magnitude? How had European nations organized themselves into opposing alliances, and how did these nations manage to carry out foreign policy as a result? Clark reveals a Europe racked by chronic problems — a fractured world of instability and militancy that was, fatefully, saddled with a conspicuously ineffectual set of political leaders. These rulers, who prided themselves on their modernity and rationalism, stumbled through crisis after crisis and finally convinced themselves that war was the only answer.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Sleepwalkers is a magisterial account of one of the most compelling dramas of modern times.

Review:

“An important book....One of the most impressive and stimulating studies of the period ever published.” Max Hastings, The Sunday Times

Review:

“Excellent....The book is stylishly written as well as superb scholarship. No analysis of the origins of the First World War will henceforth be able to bypass this magisterial work.” Ian Kershaw, BBC History

Review:

“The most readable account of the origins of the First World War since Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August. The difference is that The Sleepwalkers is a lovingly researched work of the highest scholarship.” Niall Ferguson

Review:

“This compelling examination of the causes of World War I deserves to become the new standard one-volume account of that contentious subject.” Foreign Affairs

Review:

“Clark is a masterly historian....His account vividly reconstructs key decision points while deftly sketching the context driving them....A magisterial work.” The Wall Street Journal

Review:

“A monumental new volume....Revelatory, even revolutionary....Clark has done a masterful job explaining the inexplicable.” The Boston Globe

Review:

“Easily the best book ever written on the subject....A work of rare beauty that combines meticulous research with sensitive analysis and elegant prose. The enormous weight of its quality inspires amazement and awe....Academics should take note: Good history can still be a good story.” The Washington Post

Review:

“A meticulously researched, superbly organized, and handsomely written account.” MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

Review:

“Superb....One of the great mysteries of history is how Europes great powers could have stumbled into World War I....This is the single best book I have read on this important topic.” Fareed Zakaria

Review:

“A thoroughly comprehensive and highly readable account....The brilliance of Clark's far-reaching history is that we are able to discern how the past was genuinely prologue....In conception, steely scholarship and piercing insights, his book is a masterpiece.” Harold Evans, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

“As spacious and convincing a treatment as has yet appeared....Clark's prose is clear and laced with color.” The Daily Beast

Review:

“A superb account of the causes of the first world war....Clark brilliantly puts this illogical conflict into context.” The Guardian

Review:

“This book is as authoritative as it is gripping....Clark provides a vivid panorama of the jostling among Europes policymakers....The reader is rapt as ‘watchful but unseeing protagonists head for inconceivable horror.” The Independent

Review:

“Excellent....Where Clark excels is in explaining how the pre-war diplomatic maneuvers resembled a giant exercise in game theory.” The Economist

Review:

“Clark's narrative sophistication, his philosophical awareness, and his almost preternatural command of his sources make The Sleepwalkers an exemplary instance of how to navigate this tricky terrain. The best book on the origins of the First World War that I know.” Thomas Laqueur, The London Review of Books

Review:

“One of 2013's finest nonfiction books....Offers more up-to-date scholarship than you'll find in a classic like Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August.” Matthew Yglesias, Slate

Synopsis:

One of The New York Times Book Reviews 10 Best Books of the Year

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark's riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.

Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself, but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict.

Clark traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts between the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade, and examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers is a dramatic and authoritative chronicle of Europe's descent into a war that tore the world apart.

About the Author

Christopher Clark is a professor of modern European history and a fellow of St. Catharine's College at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is the author of Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, among other books.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Mosca, July 24, 2014 (view all comments by Mosca)

Some tried to prevent this war.

Some aggressively pushed along the steps that were needed to made it happen.

Some watched, seemingly helpless, as the dominoes tumbled around them.

How that happened, this book lays out in detailed, compelling prose.

Why that happened is gingerly evaded. But the questions will not go away.

I will rethink this book often, I am sure. And I will probably re-read it in time.

This book is well done and well written.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Peter Pendergest, May 29, 2014 (view all comments by Peter Pendergest)
With the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI fast approaching, we're sure to be inundated with books exploring all aspects of that terrible event. If those books are half as good as "The Sleepwalkers", fans of military/political history (of which I don't really include myself, but this was highly recommended to me) are in for a great year of reading.
This well written, fascinating tome goes beyond the assassination of the Archduke, to capture and convey the frames of reference that led the various European powers to act and react the way they did; leading to a war that no body thought was possible until the first shots were actually fired.
One of the best works of non-fiction I have ever had the pleasure to read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061146664
Subtitle:
How Europe Went to War in 1914
Author:
Clark, Christopher
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
World History-European History General
Subject:
Military - World War I
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20140331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
736
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 x 1.17949 in 17.78 oz

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
History and Social Science » Military » World War I
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » 20th Century
History and Social Science » World History » European History General

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.99 In Stock
Product details 736 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061146664 Reviews:
"Review" by , “An important book....One of the most impressive and stimulating studies of the period ever published.”
"Review" by , “Excellent....The book is stylishly written as well as superb scholarship. No analysis of the origins of the First World War will henceforth be able to bypass this magisterial work.”
"Review" by , “The most readable account of the origins of the First World War since Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August. The difference is that The Sleepwalkers is a lovingly researched work of the highest scholarship.”
"Review" by , “This compelling examination of the causes of World War I deserves to become the new standard one-volume account of that contentious subject.”
"Review" by , “Clark is a masterly historian....His account vividly reconstructs key decision points while deftly sketching the context driving them....A magisterial work.”
"Review" by , “A monumental new volume....Revelatory, even revolutionary....Clark has done a masterful job explaining the inexplicable.”
"Review" by , “Easily the best book ever written on the subject....A work of rare beauty that combines meticulous research with sensitive analysis and elegant prose. The enormous weight of its quality inspires amazement and awe....Academics should take note: Good history can still be a good story.”
"Review" by , “A meticulously researched, superbly organized, and handsomely written account.”
"Review" by , “Superb....One of the great mysteries of history is how Europes great powers could have stumbled into World War I....This is the single best book I have read on this important topic.”
"Review" by , “A thoroughly comprehensive and highly readable account....The brilliance of Clark's far-reaching history is that we are able to discern how the past was genuinely prologue....In conception, steely scholarship and piercing insights, his book is a masterpiece.”
"Review" by , “As spacious and convincing a treatment as has yet appeared....Clark's prose is clear and laced with color.”
"Review" by , “A superb account of the causes of the first world war....Clark brilliantly puts this illogical conflict into context.”
"Review" by , “This book is as authoritative as it is gripping....Clark provides a vivid panorama of the jostling among Europes policymakers....The reader is rapt as ‘watchful but unseeing protagonists head for inconceivable horror.”
"Review" by , “Excellent....Where Clark excels is in explaining how the pre-war diplomatic maneuvers resembled a giant exercise in game theory.”
"Review" by , “Clark's narrative sophistication, his philosophical awareness, and his almost preternatural command of his sources make The Sleepwalkers an exemplary instance of how to navigate this tricky terrain. The best book on the origins of the First World War that I know.”
"Review" by , “One of 2013's finest nonfiction books....Offers more up-to-date scholarship than you'll find in a classic like Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August.”
"Synopsis" by , One of The New York Times Book Reviews 10 Best Books of the Year

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark's riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.

Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself, but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict.

Clark traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts between the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade, and examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers is a dramatic and authoritative chronicle of Europe's descent into a war that tore the world apart.

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