The Sleepwalkers

How Europe Went to War in 1914

By Christopher Clark
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061146657, 736pp.)

Publication Date: March 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback, Compact Disc, MP3 CD

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Description

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.




NPR
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013

A new book by Christopher Clark describes the series of events that precipitated one the most complex and catastrophic conflicts of modern times. "It seems to me that our world is getting more like 1914, not less like it," Clark says. More at NPR.org

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Praise For The Sleepwalkers

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

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