The Lost History of 1914: How the Great War Was Not Inevitable

Author(s): Jack Beatty

First World War

In The Lost History of 1914, Jack Beatty examines the First World War and its cses, testing against fresh evidence the long-dominant assumption that it was inevitable. 'Most books set in 1914 map the path leading to war,' Beatty writes, 'this one maps the multiple paths that led away from it.' Radically challenging the standard account of the war's outbreak, Beatty presents the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand not as the catalyst of a war that would have broken out in any event over some other crisis, but rather as 'its all-but unique precipitant'. Chronicling largely forgotten events faced by each of the belligerent countries in the months before the war started in gust, Beatty shows how any one of them - a possible military coup in Germany; the threat to Britain of civil war in Ireland; the murder trial of the wife of the likely next premier of France, who sought d tente with Germany - might have derailed the arrival of war. Europe's ruling classes, Beatty shows, were so hnted by fear of those below that they mistook democratisation for revolution, and were tempted to 'escape forward' into war to head it off. Beatty's deeply insightful book - as elegantly written as it is thought-provoking and probing - lights a lost world about to blow itself up in what George Kennan called 'the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century'. The Lost History of 1914 is a highly original and challenging work of history.


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A brilliant new history of the year World War I began- 'a year forever memorable' (Woodrow Wilson)- that examines the war and its causes through new eyes.

Illuminated and enlivened... [Beatty's] ability to hot-wire our history to the here and now is what gives Age of Betrayal its distinctive bite. Los Angeles Times Book Review on The Age of Betrayal Readers will immediately be impressed by the range of subject matter he can handle, from political, economic, and constitutional history to the history of labor, social movements and time... Absorbing in its detail and refreshingly uncompromising in its perspective Boston Globe on The Age of Betrayal

Jack Beatty grew up listening to his father's memories of serving in WWI as a sailor on a ship torpedoed in the Bay of Biscay. He is a news analyst for On Point, the public affairs program on National Public Radio, and the author of The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley, Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America, and Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900. He lives in New Hampshire.

General Fields

  • : 9781408830581
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Paperbacks
  • : 0.322
  • : April 2014
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : March 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jack Beatty
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 940.311
  • : 336
  • : illustrations