It’s time for Writer Wednesday, when I discuss another author and his or her work.
When I first saw Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan sitting on the shelf while in college, I was captivated. It was book love at first sight. In high school, I rode the bus on the Autobahn each day passing the sign that said 400-odd km to Paris. 1919 meant the conference in Versailles, deciding upon the terms that ended WWI and enforcing a plan that set into motion the history of the next decades. WWI was alive to me. I’d been to Verdun, stood in the shadow of the past.
When I saw The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned Peace for the First World War, I knew that I had to read it. Rather than the end of the war, that Macmillan had written about in Paris 1919, The War that Ended Peace examines the beginning of the war, the years leading to it, the decisions that were made and the momentum that pushed towards its commencement. Prior to this, Europe was predominantly living in peace. Since then, those decisions continue to shape today.
WWI began 100 years ago and earlier this week was the centenary of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. MacMillan’s book is timely, not just in understanding then, but in understanding now as well. Historical international relations is my line of study, both in college for my degree, and what I’ve continued to examine since. MacMillan’s books explain historical international relations perfectly, testifying to why what happened then continues to be important now. A very interesting article that MacMillan wrote about why WWI continues to be the defining era of our times can be found here. The War that Ended Peace is fascinating and one of the best books I’ve read.
My best to you all,