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.
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You must listen to the final chapter
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.
- Amazon Customer
Really terrific, but not a primer for this subject