July 1914 - countdown to war

Sean McMeekin

A powerful history of the catastrophic month, 99 years ago, when a political assassination triggered the world's bloodiest conflict yet known.

Historian Sean McMeekin's story of Europe's countdown to war is told through the eyes of men who, even a century later, seem larger than life.

McMeekin introduces the brooding Habsburg heir Archduke Ferdinand, the fanatical Bosnian Serb assassins plotting his murder, and the Austrians seeking to exploit his death, recklessly encouraged by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Russian Foreign Minister Sazonov was trying to live down a reputation for cowardice, abetted by two French statesmen. Winston Churchill, alone among Cabinet officials in London, saw the threat in time to take action.

Although often claimed, it is not true that no one wanted conflict. Individual statesmen conjured up the conflict, some oozing with malice as they rigged the decks for war.

Hard cover, 560 pages.

July 1914 - countdown to war