The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914

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HarperCollins, 2014 M03 18 - 736 pages

One of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark’s riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.

Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself, but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict.

Clark traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts between the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade, and examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers is a dramatic and authoritative chronicle of Europe’s descent into a war that tore the world apart.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - maneekuhi - LibraryThing

In the very last sentence of the book, Christopher Clark explains his title: "In this sense, the protagonists of 1914 were sleepwalkers, watchful but unseeing.....blind to the reality of the horror ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - oparaxenos - LibraryThing

This book was hard going at times, with its huge cast of characters, but the effort was well worth it. Clark has done a tremendous job of research and has looked at the origins of World War I from a much different angle. He makes it clear how futile blind nationalism is as a policy-making tool. Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Christopher Clark is a professor of modern European history and a fellow of St. Catharine's College at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is the author of Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, among other books.

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