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An Improbable War?

The Outbreak of World War I and European Political Culture before 1914

Edited by Holger Afflerbach and David Stevenson

380 pages, illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-275-9 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (October 2007)

ISBN  978-0-85745-310-5 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (January 2012)

eISBN 978-0-85745-596-3 eBook


Hb Pb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

"...outstanding scholarly analyses...These essays comprise a valuable addition to the never-ending debate on the causes of the Great War."  ·  Stand To! The Journal of the Western Front Association

"...vigorously and thoughtfully renews one of the great, enduring questions of twentieth-century European and world history. This is a landmark book that sums up the state of research and suggests fruitful possibilities for going forward."  ·  German Studies Review

"The value of the book is in the chapters, all of which are thoughtful and well argued."  ·  The International History Review

"Like any provocative book, this one forced me to rethink some of my historiographical assumptions."  ·  Bryan Ganaway, College of Charleston

The First World War has been described as the "primordial catastrophe of the twentieth century." Arguably, Italian Fascism, German National Socialism and Soviet Leninism and Stalinism would not have emerged without the cultural and political shock of World War I. The question why this catastrophe happened therefore preoccupies historians to this day. The focus of this volume is not on the consequences, but rather on the connection between the Great War and the long 19th century, the short- and long-term causes of World War I. This approach results in the questioning of many received ideas about the war's causes, especially the notion of "inevitability."

Holger Afflerbach specializes in 19th- and 20th- Century German history; international relations; military history, particularly World War I and World War II, as well as Austrian and Italian history and has written widely on these topics. He is Professor of Central European History at the University of Leeds.

David Stevenson is Stevenson Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He specializes in the history of international relations in Europe since c.1900, with particular reference to the World War I. His recent publications include Armaments and the Coming of War: Europe, 1904-1914 (Oxford, 1996), Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy (New York, 2004) amd With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918 (Allen Lane, 2011)

Subject: WWI History
Area: Europe

LC: D511 .I46 2007

BL: YC.2008.a.2653

BISAC: HIS010000 HISTORY/Europe/General; HIS027090 HISTORY/Military/World War I

BIC: HBJD European history; HBWN First World War




Contents

List of Maps
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Acknowledgements

Foreword: President Jimmy Carter: A Century of War and Peace

Introduction

PART I: EUROPEAN STATESCRAFT AND THE QUESTION OF WAR AND PEACE BEFORE 1914

Chapter 1. Stealing Horses to Great Applause: Austria-Hungary's Decision in 1914 in Systemic Perspective
Paul W. Schroeder

Chapter 2. Did Norms Matter in Nineteenth-Century International Relations? Progress and Decline in the "Culture of Peace" before World War I
Matthias Schulz

Chapter 3. Aggressive and Defensive Aims of Political Elites? Austro-Hungarian Policy in 1914
Samuel R. Williamson, Jr.

Chapter 4. The Curious Case of the Kaiser's Disappearing War Guilt: Wilhelm II in July 1914
John C. G. Röhl

PART II: THE MILITARY SITUATION BEFORE 1914: EUROPE BETWEEN HOT AND COLD WAR

Chapter 5. Chances and Limits of Armament Control 1898-1914
Jost Dülffer

Chapter 6. The Naval Race before 1914: Was a Peaceful Outcome Thinkable?
Michael Epkenhans

Chapter 7. Was a Peaceful Solution Thinkable? The European Land Armaments Race before 1914
David Stevenson

Chapter 8. The German and Austro-Hungarian General Staffs and their Reflections on an Impossible War
Günther Kronenbitter

PART III: HOPES AND FEARS OF WAR AND PEACE: SUBJECTIVE EXPECTATIONS AND UNSPOKEN ASSUMPTIONS IN EUROPEAN SOCIETIES BEFORE 1914

Chapter 9. The Topos of Improbable War in Europe before 1914
Holger Afflerbach

Chapter 10. Unfought Wars: The Effect of Détente before World War I
Friedrich Kiešling

Chapter 11. "War Enthusiasm?" Public Opinion and the Outbreak of War in 1914
Roger Chickering

Chapter 12. Education for War, Peace, and Patriotism in Russia on the Eve of World War I
Joshua A. Sanborn

PART IV: CULTURE, GENDER, RELIGIOSITY, AND THE COMING OF WAR

Chapter 13. Honor, Gender, and Power: The Politics of Satisfaction in Pre-War Europe
Ute Frevert

Chapter 14. International Solidarity in European and North American Protestantism before 1914 and after
Hartmut Lehmann

Chapter 15. International Relations, Arts, and Culture before 1914
Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht

PART V: THE PERSPECTIVE FROM AFAR: THE OUTBREAK OF WAR IN EUROPE IN THE EYES OF OTHER CONTINENTS

Chapter 16. War as the Savior? Hopes for War and Peace in Ottoman Politics before 1914
Mustafa Aksakal

Chapter 17. The View from Japan: War and Peace in Europe around 1914
Frederick R. Dickinson

Chapter 18. War, Peace, and Commerce: The American Reaction to the Outbreak of World War I in Europe
Fraser J. Harbutt

Contributors
Selected Bibliography
Index of Names

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