Book picks similar to
Twilight of Empire: The Brest-Litovsk Conference and the Remaking of East-Central Europe, 1917–1918 by Borislav Chernev
German Revolution: A History from Beginning to End
It was the government, led by the Social Democratic Party, which took power, albeit with some trepidation, after Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated the German throne. Socialists saw this as the opportunity they had been waiting for, the day when workers would be the ones in power. For the conservatives who could not accept the German defeat in World War I, however, the Weimar Republic was a feeble entity which had capitulated to Germany’s enemies.The German Revolution of 1918-1919 told the story of a bruised nation attempting to overcome its military defeat at the hands of enemies who wanted to punish Germany for starting the war. Because Germany was caught in the vise of such irreconcilable political philosophies between the left and the right, the Weimar Republic, although it was the ruling power following the German Revolution, was destined to have a doomed, short life in Germany’s tragic twentieth-century history.
War by Timetable: How the First World War Began
A.J.P. Taylor - 1969
It was an unexpected climax to the railway age.' A. J. P. Taylor was one of the most acclaimed historians of the twentieth century. His most provocative legacy was his insistence on the roles of accident and inadvertence in the outbreak of both world wars. First published in 1969, his book 'War by Timetable' still resonates and informs debates. 'War By Timetable' is a history of the mobilisation of the armies of the Great Powers in 1914. Taylor not only argues that the circumstances were already set for a general war, he also examines the flaws in the war plans of the Great Powers. All the plans depended on railways, which had been timed to the minute, months or even years in advance. As the train platforms grew longer (to accommodate prospective armies) the odds upon a great conflict grew shorter. The timetables and limited resources that were meant to serve as a deterrent to war instead relentlessly drove the powers into a conflict that engulfed the world. A.J.P. Taylor (1906-90) was one of the most controversial historians of the twentieth century. He served as a lecturer at the Universities of Manchester, Oxford, and London. Taylor was significant both for the controversy his work on Germany and the Second World War engendered and for his role in the development of history on television. Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.
Kaiser Wilhelm II
Christopher Clark - 2000
Following Kaiser Wilhelm's political career from his youth at the Hohenzollern court through the turbulent peacetime decades of the Wilhelmine era into global war and exile, the book presents a new interpretation of this controversial monarch and assesses the impact on Germany of his forty-year reign.
The Congress of Vienna
Harold Nicolson - 1946
His father, Sir Arthur Nicolson, was a diplomat as he himself was in early adulthood being a member of the British delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 as well as serving in other capacities. A later historian of the Congress, Adam Zamoyski, has described it in the following way: 'The reconstruction of Europe at the Congress of Vienna is probably the most seminal episode in modern history'. Harold Nicolson's classic account written piquantly just after the Second World War is memorable not just for its adroit grasp of the many complex issues but also for its numerous vivid character sketches of the principal peacemakers: Alexander I of Russia, Metternich, Talleyrand, Castlereagh and others are brought brilliantly to life. 'Mr Nicolson has written a vivid, entertaining and penetrating book about an episode in nineteenth-century history with which has gifts and his own education most particularly qualified him to deal. Moreover he often makes valuable generalisations...In a short review it is impossible to convey by quotation those qualities which will make it eagerly sought after: its vivid portraits and scenes from the past: its clear analysis of political situations as they arise; its shrewd comments on the characters of the men who dealt with them' - Desmond MacCarthy, "Sunday Times". Faber Finds is reissuing all of Harold Nicolson's works of diplomatic history: "The Congress of Vienna: A Study in Allied Unity, 1812-1822"; "Lord Carnock: A Study in Old Diplomacy: Peacemaking, 1919" and "Curzon: The Last Phase, 1919-1925".
July 1914: Countdown to War
Sean McMeekin - 2013
Even Ferdinand’s own uncle, Franz Josef I, was notably ambivalent about the death of the Hapsburg heir, saying simply, "It is God’s will." Certainly, there was nothing to suggest that the episode would lead to conflict—much less a world war of such massive and horrific proportions that it would fundamentally reshape the course of human events.As acclaimed historian Sean McMeekin reveals in July 1914, World War I might have been avoided entirely had it not been for a small group of statesmen who, in the month after the assassination, plotted to use Ferdinand’s murder as the trigger for a long-awaited showdown in Europe. The primary culprits, moreover, have long escaped blame. While most accounts of the war’s outbreak place the bulk of responsibility on German and Austro-Hungarian militarism, McMeekin draws on surprising new evidence from archives across Europe to show that the worst offenders were actually to be found in Russia and France, whose belligerence and duplicity ensured that war was inevitable. Whether they plotted for war or rode the whirlwind nearly blind, each of the men involved—from Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold von Berchtold and German Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov and French president Raymond Poincaré—sought to capitalize on the fallout from Ferdinand’s murder, unwittingly leading Europe toward the greatest cataclysm it had ever seen.A revolutionary account of the genesis of World War I, July 1914 tells the gripping story of Europe’s countdown to war from the bloody opening act on June 28th to Britain’s final plunge on August 4th, showing how a single month—and a handful of men—changed the course of the twentieth century.
The Fortress: The Siege of Przemyśl and the Making of Europe's Bloodlands
Alexander Watson - 2019
The battling powers had already suffered casualties on a scale previously unimaginable. On both the Western and Eastern fronts elaborate war plans lay in ruins and had been discarded in favour of desperate improvisation. In the West this resulted in the remorseless world of the trenches; in the East all eyes were focused on the old, beleaguered Austro-Hungarian fortress of Przemysl.The great siege that unfolded at Przemysl was the longest of the whole war. In the defence of the fortress and the struggle to relieve it Austria-Hungary suffered some 800,000 casualties. Almost unknown in the West, this was one of the great turning points of the conflict. If the Russians had broken through they could have invaded Central Europe, but by the time the fortress fell their strength was so sapped they could go no further.Alexander Watson, prize-winning author of Ring of Steel, has written one of the great epics of the First World War. Comparable to Stalingrad in 1942-3, Przemysl shaped the course of Europe's future. Neither Russians nor Austro-Hungarians ever recovered from their disasters. Using a huge range of sources, Watson brilliantly recreates a world of long-gone empires, broken armies and a cut-off community sliding into chaos. The siege was central to the war itself, but also a chilling harbinger of what would engulf the entire region in the coming decades, as nationalism, anti-semitism and an exterminatory fury took hold.
1939 - The War That Had Many Fathers: The Long Run-Up to the Second World War
Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof - 2003
Documents from foreign ministries, and notes and memoranda from British, French, Italian and American leaders, ministers, diplomats and military commanders, prove that quite a number of countries were involved in instigating World War II. Interconnections, hitherto overlooked, are made clear. "This war", writes Schultze-Rhonhof, "had many fathers." Much in our German history from 1919 to 1939 cannot be understood without cognizance of contemporary events in other lands: actions and reactions are closely linked together. Yet it was not only contemporary events in neighboring nations which contributed to the start of the war, it was also, and not insignificantly, the joint prehistory of the disputing parties. Almost every history has a prehistory.
Passchendaele: A New History
Nick Lloyd - 2017
Between July and November 1917, in a small corner of Belgium, more than 500,000 men were killed or maimed, gassed or drowned - and many of the bodies were never found. The Ypres offensive represents the modern impression of the First World War: splintered trees, water-filled craters, muddy shell-holes.The climax was one of the worst battles of both world wars: Passchendaele. The village fell eventually, only for the whole offensive to be called off. But, as Nick Lloyd shows, notably through previously overlooked German archive material, it is striking how close the British came to forcing the German Army to make a major retreat in Belgium in October 1917. Far from being a pointless and futile waste of men, the battle was a startling illustration of how effective British tactics and operations had become by 1917 and put the Allies nearer to a major turning point in the war than we have ever imagined.Published for the 100th anniversary of this major conflict, Passchendaele is the most compelling and comprehensive account ever written of the climax of trench warfare on the Western Front.
A History of Eastern Europe
Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius - 2015
It has also been, and continues to be, pivotal in the course of world events. A History of Eastern Europe offers a sweeping 1,000-year tour with a particular focus on the region's modern history. In 24 insightful lectures, you'll observe waves of migration and invasion, watch empires rise and fall, witness wars and their deadly consequences - and come away with comprehensive knowledge of one of the world's most fascinating places.In examining this region's remarkable diversity and contested borders, you'll better understand the ever-present tension between the connections between East and West and the areas of marked contrast. These disparities were clear as the world globalized and the US and Soviet superpowers jockeyed for spheres of influence - epitomized by the imposition of the Iron Curtain across Europe and the rise of the Berlin Wall. And yet, throughout the 20th century and into current times, the connectedness of Eastern Europe to the rest of the world continues to be demonstrated beyond question. This region has made itself felt across the globe through:The political and cultural reverberations of peace movements and armed conflictsThe crises of huge population migrations and the new expressions of cultural and economic exchange they sparkThe successes and struggles of NATO and the European Union And more Explore the grand sweep of this epic history, from a series of early invasions to the rise of empires to the collapse of communism and into the new challenges of the 21st century. Meet brilliant poets, writers, artists, and other cultural figures who made an impact on Eastern European history.
World War I
S.L.A. Marshall - 1985
General S.L.A. Marshall drew on his unique firsthand experience as a soldier and a lifetime of military service to pen this forthright, forward-thinking history of what people once believed would be the last great war. Newly introduced by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, David M. Kennedy, WORLD WAR I is a classic example of unflinching military history that is certain to inform, enrich, and deepen our understanding of this great cataclysm.
The Eastern Front 1914-1917
Norman Stone - 1975
Churchill called the Eastern Front 'the unknown war' and there is still no Soviet official history of the army's role during the First World War.It was in the East, with Russia in turmoil, that many decisive engagements took place. Norman stone believes that 'the outcome of the battles was dictated by factors that do not always figure in works of military history'. Using a wide range of sources from European and American research centers, he describes the battles of the Eastern Front. Tannenberg, Austria-Hungary's entry into the war, the Russian retreat in the summer of 1915, the role of Lundendorff, the Brusilov offensive - all are carefully examined and substantially reinterpreted.Traditional accounts of the Russian war effort describe an army crippled by shortages of shells and war materials. Norman Stone's analysis shows that German economic superiority has been greatly overestimated. The Russians suffered from a shortage of organizational and administrative ability. Their economy suffered a crisis not of decline but of growth; as a result capitalism, as Western Europe knew it, was killed off in Russia in 1915-16, not in 1917-18. In his final chapter, the author reviews the connection between war and revolution in Tsarist Russia, and suggests new approaches to our understanding of this complex problem.Norman Stone never loses sight of his greater themes and places the conflict in a larger context. He explains the mechanics of revolutionary development and the downfall of the Tsar and thereby throws new light on our interpretation of the war in the West. The book is carefully documented and there are maps of the campaign. As the author writes: 'the book travelled a long way from the battlefields where it began; it may even have become three different books. But total war needs total history, as far as can be managed.'
Europe's Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914?
David Fromkin - 2004
For nearly a century since, historians have debated the causes of the war. Some have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; others have concluded it was unavoidable.In Europe’s Last Summer, David Fromkin provides a different answer: hostilities were commenced deliberately. In a riveting re-creation of the run-up to war, Fromkin shows how German generals, seeing war as inevitable, manipulated events to precipitate a conflict waged on their own terms. Moving deftly between diplomats, generals, and rulers across Europe, he makes the complex diplomatic negotiations accessible and immediate. Examining the actions of individuals amid larger historical forces, this is a gripping historical narrative and a dramatic reassessment of a key moment in the twentieth-century.
Lyn Macdonald - 1983
However the 18 divisions that went over the top between Arras and St-Quentin on the morning of 1 July 1916, walked into a battle that has gone down in the annals of human conflict as the slaughterhouse of a generation. The author has written other books about the history of World War I, including, They Called it Passchendaele and The Roses of No Man's Land.
A History of Europe
J.M. Roberts - 1996
Roberts traces the development of the European identity over the course of thousands of years, ranging across empires and religions, economics, science, and the arts. Antiquity, the age of Christendom, the Middle Ages, early modern history, and the old European order all are surveyed in turn, with particular emphasis given to the turbulent twentieth century.