Lions of July: Prelude to War, 1914

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Presidio, 1996 - History - 456 pages
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The Lions of July is a sweeping study of the series of events that begins with the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, and culminates in the slaughter of the First World War. Europe's leaders were trapped by their shared history: vivid memories of past aggressions, some going back centuries. From inside war rooms, secret council chambers and throne rooms around Europe, historian William Jannen vividly describes how a traditional, leisurely, and largely aristocratic diplomacy broke down as monarchs, ministers, and diplomats, overwhelmed by fear and tension and the sheer pace of events, gradually lost control and stumbled into war. The failure of the great men of Europe to preserve peace resulted in the death of empires, along with millions of their subjects, bringing the old world order crashing down and sending echoes through time that still reverberate today. This inspired, masterful work brings the tragic summer of 1914 to life. Herein, author Jannen demonstrates that no single action or decision ever stands by itself. Like Barbara Tuchman's classic book The Guns of August, William Jannen's The Lions of July is fundamental to the comprehension of the history of our time.

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THE LIONS OF JULY: Prelude to War, 1914

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An immensely effective audit of how and why the Old World's aristocratic leaders failed to keep the peace during the summer of 1914. Jannen, a lawyer and historian, provides a riveting day-by-day ... Read full review


Belgrade and Vienna 28 June4 July
The Emperor and the Field Marshal 5 July
The Blank Check Berlin 56 July

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About the author (1996)

William Jannen Jr. has taught history at Brooklyn College.

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