The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914

TitleThe Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsClark, Christopher M.
Number of Pages697
PublisherHarper ; Penguin
CityNew York ; London
Abstract

An authoritative chronicle, drawing on new research on World War I, traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute narrative that examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914. 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.

Reprint EditionLes somnambules : été 1914, comment l'Europe a marché vers la guerre. Trans. Marie-Anne de Béru. (Paris: Flammarion, 2013); Die Schlafwandler wie Europa in den Ersten Weltkrieg zog. Trans. Norbert Juraschitz (Munich: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2013).
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794136314

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