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The Year the World Ended

Penguin Random House 2013

1914 shows how the old world died. It offers a fresh understanding of the causes of the Great War.

The world did not stumble or sleepwalk into war, as many suppose. The leaders of the governments of Europe chose war. Some did so exuberantly; others, reluctantly. All knew their actions risked a European conflagration.

The question at the heart of my history of the causes of WWI is this: Why did they continue fighting, knowing they were wiping out the best of a generation? Why did 20 million people have to die over four years of slaughter?

1914 shows that the usually cited causes of the Great War are woefully inadequate at explaining why it began … and why it continued.

Something deeper ran through the veins of Europe than imperial rivalry and national distrust. Indeed, the enemy within would prove more threatening to Europe’s sclerotic regimes than the foe on the battlefield.


Perhaps there is a decent hypocrisy in the ‘boo-hoo brigade’ of militarists, chauvinists and warmongering politicians who … goaded young men into uniform and would later ostentatiously mourn the victims.


‘1914 is a gripping depiction of events which transformed the world... It’s the total package and a compelling and panoramic work for the general reader.’

Australian Institute of International Affairs

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