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The origins of World War I / edited by Richard F. Hamilton, Holger H. Herwig.

Contributor(s): Hamilton, Richard F | Herwig, Holger H.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003Description: xiii, 537 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0521817358; 9780521817356.Other title: Origins of World War 1 | Origins of World War One.Subject(s): World War, 1914-1918 -- Causes | World War, 1914-1918 -- Diplomatic history | World War, 1914-1918 -- HistoriographyDDC classification: 940.3/11 Other classification: 15.70
Contents:
World wars: definition and causes / Richard F. Hamilton, Holger H. Herwig -- The European wars: 1815-1914 / Richard F. Hamilton -- Serbia / Richard C. Hall -- Austria-Hungary / Graydon A. Tunstall, Jr. -- Germany / Holger H. Herwig -- Russia / David Alan Rich -- France / Eugenia C. Kiesling -- Great Britain / J. Paul Harris -- Japan / Frederick R. Dickinson -- The Ottoman Empire / Ulrich Trumpener -- Italy / Richard F. Hamilton, Holger H. Herwig -- Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece / Richard C. Hall -- The United States / John Milton Cooper, Jr. -- Why did it happen? / Holger H. Herwig -- On the origins of the catastrophe / Richard F. Hamilton -- Chronology, 1914 / Geoffrey P. Megargee -- Dramatis Personae --
Review: "This work poses an easy but perplexing question about World War I: Why did it happen? Several of the oft-cited causes are reviewed and discussed. The argument of the alliance systems is inadequate, lacking relevance or compelling force. The argument of an accident (or "slide") is also inadequate, given the clear and unambiguous evidence of intentions. The arguments of mass demands, those focusing on nationalism, militarism, and social Darwinism, it is argued, are insufficient, lacking indications of frequency, intensity, and process (how they influenced the various decisions)." "The work focuses on decision making, on the choices made by small coteries, in Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, Britain, and elsewhere. The decisions made later by leaders in Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, the Balkans, and the United States are also explored."--BOOK JACKET.
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D511 .O68 2003 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001639798

Includes bibliographical references (p. 525-531) and index.

World wars: definition and causes / Richard F. Hamilton, Holger H. Herwig -- The European wars: 1815-1914 / Richard F. Hamilton -- Serbia / Richard C. Hall -- Austria-Hungary / Graydon A. Tunstall, Jr. -- Germany / Holger H. Herwig -- Russia / David Alan Rich -- France / Eugenia C. Kiesling -- Great Britain / J. Paul Harris -- Japan / Frederick R. Dickinson -- The Ottoman Empire / Ulrich Trumpener -- Italy / Richard F. Hamilton, Holger H. Herwig -- Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece / Richard C. Hall -- The United States / John Milton Cooper, Jr. -- Why did it happen? / Holger H. Herwig -- On the origins of the catastrophe / Richard F. Hamilton -- Appendix A: Chronology, 1914 / Geoffrey P. Megargee -- Appendix B: Dramatis Personae -- Appendix C: Suggested readings.

"This work poses an easy but perplexing question about World War I: Why did it happen? Several of the oft-cited causes are reviewed and discussed. The argument of the alliance systems is inadequate, lacking relevance or compelling force. The argument of an accident (or "slide") is also inadequate, given the clear and unambiguous evidence of intentions. The arguments of mass demands, those focusing on nationalism, militarism, and social Darwinism, it is argued, are insufficient, lacking indications of frequency, intensity, and process (how they influenced the various decisions)." "The work focuses on decision making, on the choices made by small coteries, in Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, Britain, and elsewhere. The decisions made later by leaders in Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, the Balkans, and the United States are also explored."--BOOK JACKET.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This volume presents a new approach to the origins of the Great War. A paradigm is developed in the first two chapters that is then applied to an array of nations, including Japan, Greece, and Romania. The authors discuss the war's origins in terms of the interpersonal dynamics within the various bureaucracies, rather than the traditional focus on impersonal forces, such as class, economics, or ideology. Chapters on individual nations consider basic questions: "Which individuals and groups controlled the situation? Who were the decision makers? What factors influenced their decisions? And finally, how did they reach their decisions?" The authors argue that nations like Austria-Hungary were quite aware that an attack on Serbia could lead to a European-wide war, and that WW I was not an accident. The authors offers many interesting and original interpretations: the British military had minimal effect on civilian decisions; the alliance systems were defensive rather than offensive; British Foreign Minister Grey was more pro-war than represented in earlier interpretations; and businessmen were generally antiwar, suggesting that economic liberalism was largely irrelevant. Ending with a vindication of liberalism while attacking the monarchy and Marxism, the book is lively and interpretative, although it would have been stronger with more archival evidence. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. W. T. Dean III Air Command and Staff College

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