Military history

The Origins of the First World War

The Origins of the First World War

James Joll's study is not simply another narrative, retracing the powder trail that was finally ignited at Sarajevo. It is an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis of the historical forces at work in the Europe of 1914, and the very different ways in which historians have subsequently attempted to understand them. The importance of the theme, the breadth and sympathy of James Joll's scholarship, and the clarity of his exposition, have all contributed to the spectacular success of the book since its first appearance in 1984.

Chapter 1. A century of explanations

Chapter 2. The July Crisis

Chapter 3. The alliance system and the old diplomacy

Chapter 4. Militarism, armaments and strategy

Chapter 5. The primacy of domestic politics

Chapter 6. The international economy

Chapter 7. Imperial rivalries

Chapter 8. The mood of 1914

Chapter 9. Reconsidering responsibility: 10 fateful choices

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