Monday, September 23, 2013

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes To War

James Srodes at the Washington Times offers a good review of Max Hastings' Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes To War.

If you are as alarmed as I am over how the world’s political leadership — especially our own — seems to be a parade of imbeciles, then invest $35 and read about how the world slid into a similar global catastrophe almost exactly 99 years ago. While history does not repeat itself exactly, this book shows how close it can come.

The British editor and war correspondent Max Hastings over the past two decades has become the contemporary premier historian of 20th-century war. Most of his more than two-dozen books, such as his 2011 masterpiece, “Armageddon,” focus on World War II. But in this large and lavishly illustrated book, he examines just the final six months of a single year when the world descended from an idyllic, albeit unstable, age into the chasm of carnage and upheaval that is known as World War I.

The real strength of this story is how Mr. Hastings portrays the principal characters, not as stereotyped tyrants, greedy empire builders or mindless militarists, but rather as very real human beings with as many flaws as virtues. Most of all, they were prisoners of the times in which they lived and had to make decisions. In other words, a lot like the current crowd.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

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