The Russian decision to mobilize in July 1914 may have been the single most catastrophic choice of the modern era. Some articulate, thoughtful figures around the tsar understood Russia's fragility, yet they were shouted down by those who were convinced that despite Germany's patent military superiority, Russian greatness required decisive action.
Russia's rulers thought they were acting to secure their future, but in fact - after millions of deaths and two revolutions - they were consigning their entire class to death or exile and their country to a uniquely terrible generations-long experiment under a very different regime.
©2015 Dominic Lieven (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
There is so much detail that you have to revisit many chapters to ensure you have a grasp of the narrative that is unfolding.
I cannot recommend too highly this book to anyone with an interest in 20th century world history. Having read several books dealing with the events leading to the outbreak of the 1st world war, I was engrossed by the presentaltion from a Russian perspective.Half way through I had to break off to revisit Misha Gennie's excellent Balkan history to refresh myself on Balkan politics 1900-1914.
I hope all politicians read the author's final chapter, which is thought provoking and certainly puts the current Ukraine crisis into a broader historical context.
I loved this book. It's clever, articulate and hugely informative, and it's beautifully narrated by the experienced and highly skilled Sean Barrett. I found the detailed analysis of the period very stimulating and not at all intimidating in its depth and breadth, but while not describing myself as an expert on the period, I did have a fairly good grounding in the main events of the time. My one caveat would be that it's probably not the best introductory book for this area of interest, but if you do have a rough grounding in its themes it will be a most rewarding listen.
The central thesis of this book is that it is impossible to understand the World War 1 without grasping the importance of the struggle between Austrian and Russia for hegemony in the Balkans, and most importantly Ukraine. Whilst he is successful in this respect he also manages to explore the wider causes and consequences of the war. History at its best, measured, cool headed, and dispassionate, though not devoid of serious moral judgements. Exceptionally good narration, striking exactly the right tone.
Well written, interesting, intelligent and well researched position. An important and often neglected perspective on the origin of the First World War. Strongly recommend to everyone interested in the subject.
Not until the author learns the difference between Britain and England
As good as ever, voice is so important for audiobooks and Sean has that gift. He also shows a good ability to handle names from a range of places. The book can seem a bit flat and droney at times, but I think that's more to do with the writing than with the reading.
There's a lot of interesting and enlightening stuff in here, but I gave it one star because the author continually refers to Britain as 'England'. Seriously..if the bloke has such a vague grasp of the country he comes from, how are we supposed to have any faith in his assessment of complex and convoluted international events?
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