April A-Z Challenge, April 26, Letter W:

Book Review – The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 – Margaret MacMillan

Facts:

▪   Book: The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914

▪   Author: Margaret MacMillan

▪   Genre: Non-Fiction

▪   Year of Release: 2013

▪   Read 640-page hardcover edition in April 2014.

Book Description: This non-fiction book by award-winning historian Margaret MacMillan examines the decade preceding the start of World War I, and looks at the various events, issues, tensions, leaders, and cultures that permeated Europe during these years.  This was a prelude to a devastating war that rampaged across all of Europe and involved nations across the world.  MacMillan examines such questions as why this happened, what caused tension to build in the decade preceding the war, and the events in the months and weeks leading up to the war.

Book Review: This was an excellent history of Europe in 1900-1914 by an expert of international history.  MacMillan has done a thorough researching job, looking at all the various issues and complex inter-relationships between nations and peoples in Europe in the early 20th century. MacMillan also has done her homework in terms of careful study and analysis, and then presenting conclusions and putting forward possible reasons why things happened the way they did.  The narrative is very interesting in that it shows how a number of seemingly disparate events and decisions actually continued to coalesce into a ticking time bomb which led to the large and devastating world war.  MacMillan does a great job of presenting the facts, although in some cases chapters were quite long, making the book somewhat imposing at times.  There was also some references to the culture of the time, although the book does tend to focus on the politics and military situations of the time, which is beneficial to learn more about this, but additional cultural context would have been helpful as well.  Still, this is is a great book overall, an opportunity to learn more about the various reasons why this war happened, and how there were people on all sides who tried to work towards peace and stability, but also people on all sides who encouraged war for various reasons. One can also see some great lessons that should be considered in light of current events in the world today.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.

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