War, Peace, and Revolution
Author: David Stevenson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
1917 was a year of calamitous events, and one of pivotal importance in the development of the First World War. In 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, leading historian of World War One, David Stevenson, examines this crucial year in context and illuminates the century that followed. He shows howin this one year the war was transformed, but also what drove the conflict onwards and how it continued to escalate.Two developments in particular - the Russian Revolution and American intervention - had worldwide repercussions. Offering a close examination of the key decisions, David Stevenson considers Germany's campaign of "unrestricted" submarine warfare, America's declaration of war in response, andBritain's frustration of German strategy by adopting the convoy system, as well as why (paradoxically) the military and political stalemate in Europe persisted. Focusing on the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, on the disastrous spring offensive that plunged the French army into mutiny, on the summer attacks that undermined the moderate Provisional Government in Russia and exposed Italy to national humiliation at Caporetto, and on the British decision for theill-fated Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), 1917 offers a truly international understanding of events. The failed attempts to end the war by negotiation further clarify the underlying forces that kept it going. David Stevenson also analyses the global consequences of the year's developments, showing how countries such as Brazil and China joined the belligerents, Britain offered "responsible government" to India, and the Allies promised a Jewish national home in Palestine. Blending political and militaryhistory, and moving from capital to capital and between the cabinet chamber and the battle front, the book highlights the often tumultuous debates through which leaders entered and escalated the war, and the paradox that continued fighting could be justified as the shortest road towards regainingpeace.
Author: David Stevenson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Why did World War I end with a whimper—an arrangement between two weary opponents to suspend hostilities? Why did the Allies reject the option of advancing into Germany and taking Berlin? Most histories of the Great War focus on the avoidability of its beginning. This book focuses on Germany’s inconclusive defeat and its ominous ramifications.
Why the First World War Failed to End
Author: Robert Gerwarth
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2016 An epic, groundbreaking account of the ethnic and state violence that followed the end of World War I—conflicts that would shape the course of the twentieth century For the Western Allies, November 11, 1918, has always been a solemn date—the end of fighting that had destroyed a generation, but also a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of the principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing, nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country. In The Vanquished, a highly original and gripping work of history, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western Front that proved so ruinous to Europe’s future, but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were savaged by revolutions, pogroms, mass expulsions, and further major military clashes. In the years immediately after the armistice, millions would die across central, eastern, and southeastern Europe before the Soviet Union and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states would come into being. It was here, in the ruins of Europe, that extreme ideologies such as fascism would take shape and ultimately emerge triumphant. As absorbing in its drama as it is unsettling in its analysis, The Vanquished is destined to transform our understanding of not just the First World War but the twentieth century as a whole.
Author: Will Englund
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
“Fast-paced history . . . full of haunting, unforgettable wartime images.” —David M. Shribman, Boston Globe March 1917 is a riveting history of the month that transformed the world’s greatest nations as Russia faced revolution and America entered World War I. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary Russian and American diaries, memoirs, oral histories, and newspaper accounts, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Will Englund creates a highly detailed and textured account of America’s transformation from an isolationist nation to one that embraced an active role in shaping world affairs while at home Jim Crow still reigned. This fascinating examination considers the dreams of that year’s warriors, pacifists, activists, revolutionaries, and reactionaries—from Czar Nicholas II to Woodrow Wilson, from Theodore Roosevelt to the fiery congresswoman Jeannette Rankin—and demonstrates how their successes and failures constitute the origin story of our complex modern world.
Author: Erica Michiko Charters,Eve Rosenhaft,Hannah Smith
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Civilians and War in Europe 1618–1815 examines the relationship between civilians and warfare from the start of the Thirty Years War to the end of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The volume interrogates received narratives of warfare that identify the development of modern 'total' war with the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and instead considers the continuities and transformations in warfare over the course of two hundred years. The contributors examine prisoners of war, the cultures of plunder, the tensions of billeting, and war-time atrocities throughout England, France, Spain, and the German territories. They also explore the legal practices surrounding the conduct and aftermath of war; representations of civilians, soldiers, and militias; and the philosophical underpinnings of warfare. They probe what it meant to be a civilian in territories beset by invasion and civil war or in times when ‘peace’ at home was accompanied by almost continuous military engagement abroad. Their accounts show us civilians not only as anguished sufferers, but also directly involved with war: fighting back with shocking violence, profiting from war-time needs, and negotiating for material and social redress. And they show us individuals and societies coming to terms with the moral and political challenges posed by the business of drawing lines between ‘civilians’ and ‘soldiers’.With contributors drawn from the fields of political and legal theory, literature and the visual arts, and military, political, social, and cultural history, this volume will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of warfare and the evolution of the idea of the civilian.
The History of the First World War
Author: David Stevenson
Publisher: Penguin UK
Category: World War, 1914-1918
Heralded as the definitive history of the First World War, this epic account tells the story of the world's most devastating cataclysm in full: from when a century of peace was shattered in the summer of 1914, through the escalation of the slaughter to when the guns finally fell silent on the Western Front. Global in its reach, 1914-1918 ultimately show how this 'war to end war' was a deliberate political act, one whose legacy continues to haunt us. 'Superb.' Ian Kershaw 'The best compreshensive one-volume history of the war yet written.' New Yorker 'David Stevenson is the real deal.' Niall Ferguson 'Magisterial . . . sweeping . . . it contributes new insights to our understanding of the conflict and its appalling legacies.' Literary Review 'Not just an outstanding work of history, it is also a powerful message of warning.' History Today 'A book which will last . . . whose compass is wider and more inclusive than any of its single-volume rivals.' Daily Telegraph
The Decisive Battles of World War One
Author: Martin Matrix Evans
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing
Presenting the Allied and German experience of war - both military and on a personal level - Victory on the Western Front is an immensely readable, visually striking account of the pivotal final stages of World War I, when two very different concepts went head-to-head on the battlefield. The Germans gambled on winning on the Western Front through the sophisticated use of artillery and new infantry tactics, whereas the Allies calculated that victory lay in the application of a balanced combination of infantry, artillery, AFVs and aircraft. The efforts of both sides were dogged by error, misunderstanding, uncertainty and mistrust. This fully illustrated book is the story of the search for victory - on both sides of the lines - and of the valour and steadfastness of the fighting men tasked with delivering it.
War, Revolution, Civil War, 1914 - 1921
Author: Laura Engelstein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
A century ago, the three-hundred-year-old Romanov dynasty was toppled, replaced first by an interim government and then by the world's first self-proclaimed socialist society. This was no narrative of ten earth-shaking days but one of months and years of compounding strife, a struggle forpower by competing ideologies and regions and classes and political parties and ethnicities, all rushing to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the tsarist regime, brought down by the First World War, that massive exercise in state-driven violence. At the center of it all is the unlikely triumphof Lenin's Bolsheviks, first in their ruthless seizure of power and then, by institutionalizing violence and terror, their eventual victory over equally brutal but less effective opponents. For seven years, through war, revolutionary upheaval, and civil strife, one Russia replaced another; oldinstitutions and ways of life were wiped away or adapted to new purposes. Laura Engelstein's monumental new history of the Russian Revolution brings to life the events that sparked and then fueled the revolution as it spread out across the vestiges of an entire empire - from St. Petersburg and Moscow across the Steppes, the Caucuses, and Siberia, to the Pacific Rim.Russia in Flames is a vivid account of a state in crisis so profound and transformative that it not only shook the world but irrevocably altered it.
Paramilitary Violence in Europe After the Great War
Author: Robert Gerwarth,John Horne
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
The First World War did not end in November 1918. In Russia and Eastern Europe it finished up to a year earlier, and both there and elsewhere in Europe it triggered conflicts that lasted down to 1923. Paramilitary formations were prominent in this continuation of the war. They had some features of formal military organizations, but were used in opposition to the regular military as an instrument of revolution or as an adjunct or substitute for military forces when these were unable by themselves to put down a revolution (whether class or national). Paramilitary violence thus arose in different contexts. It was an important aspect of the violence unleashed by class revolution in Russia. It structured the counter-revolution in central and Eastern Europe, including Finland and Italy, which reacted against a mythic version of Bolshevik class violence in the name of order and authority. It also shaped the struggles over borders and ethnicity in the new states that replaced the multi-national empires of Russia, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Turkey. It was prominent on all sides in the wars for Irish independence. In many cases, paramilitary violence was charged with political significance and acquired a long-lasting symbolism and influence. War in Peace explores the differences and similarities between these various kinds of paramilitary violence within one volume for the first time. It thereby contributes to our understanding of the difficult transitions from war to peace. It also helps to re-situate the Great War in a longer-term context and to explain its enduring impact.
The March to World War I and Revolution
Author: Dominic Lieven
An Economist Best Book of the Year A Financial Times Best Book of the Year Winner of the the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize Finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize An Amazon Best Book of the Month (History) One of the world’s leading scholars offers a fresh interpretation of the linked origins of World War I and the Russian Revolution "Lieven has a double gift: first, for harvesting details to convey the essence of an era and, second, for finding new, startling, and clarifying elements in familiar stories. This is history with a heartbeat, and it could not be more engrossing."—Foreign Affairs World War I and the Russian Revolution together shaped the twentieth century in profound ways. In The End of Tsarist Russia, acclaimed scholar Dominic Lieven connects for the first time the two events, providing both a history of the First World War’s origins from a Russian perspective and an international history of why the revolution happened. Based on exhaustive work in seven Russian archives as well as many non-Russian sources, Dominic Lieven’s work is about far more than just Russia. By placing the crisis of empire at its core, Lieven links World War I to the sweep of twentieth-century global history. He shows how contemporary hot issues such as the struggle for Ukraine were already crucial elements in the run-up to 1914. By incorporating into his book new approaches and comparisons, Lieven tells the story of war and revolution in a way that is truly original and thought-provoking. From the Hardcover edition.
The United States and the Mexican Revolution, 1913-1917
Author: John S. D. Eisenhower
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Recounts President Woodrow Wilson's abortive efforts to preserve democracy in Mexico amid political chaos
Author: David Stevenson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
The horrors of the First World War--trench warfare, human tragedy, and military blunders--are well known, yet the the role of politicians and diplomats has strangely been neglected. Redressing this imbalance, David Stevenson focusses on the politics of the war: why the governments of the day resorted to violence in pursuit of their political objectives, why conflict expanded to a global level, the significance of the Russian Revolution, why it was impossible to achieve compromise, and why the eventual peace settlement took the troubled form that it did. Based on detailed research in recently opened archives, this book offers valuable insight into an important chapter of 20th-century international history.
From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century
Author: Joseph Maiolo,David Stevenson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Arms race
This volume provides a survey of the history of arms races in the modern period. It contains sections on arms races before the First World War, between the two world wars, during the Cold War, and in the post-Cold War periods. Its coverage includes not only Europe but also East and South Asia and the Middle East. It seeks to analyse arms races and what causes them, and examines the connections between arms races and the outbreak of wars.
Author: Richard F. Hamilton,Holger H. Herwig
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Decisions for War focuses on the choices made by small coteries in Austria-Hungary, Germany, Russia, France, Britain and elsewhere to address a common yet perplexing question: why did World War I happen? Several of the usual causes for the war are reviewed and discussed. Rather than accepting arguments of mass demands, nationalism, militarism, and social Darwinism, the book shows how in each country, the decision to enter the war was made by only a handful of individuals - monarchs, ministers, military people, party leaders, ambassadors, and others. In each case, we also see separate and distinct agendas, the considerations differing from one nation to the next. The leadership of Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, the Balkans, and the United States are explored, as well as that of the major European countries involved.
A Saga of the Russian Revolution
Author: Yuri Slezkine
Publisher: Princeton University Press
On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the epic story of an enormous apartment building where Communist true believers lived before their destruction The House of Government is unlike any other book about the Russian Revolution and the Soviet experiment. Written in the tradition of Tolstoy's War and Peace, Grossman’s Life and Fate, and Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, Yuri Slezkine’s gripping narrative tells the true story of the residents of an enormous Moscow apartment building where top Communist officials and their families lived before they were destroyed in Stalin’s purges. A vivid account of the personal and public lives of Bolshevik true believers, the book begins with their conversion to Communism and ends with their children’s loss of faith and the fall of the Soviet Union. Completed in 1931, the House of Government, later known as the House on the Embankment, was located across the Moscow River from the Kremlin. The largest residential building in Europe, it combined 505 furnished apartments with public spaces that included everything from a movie theater and a library to a tennis court and a shooting range. Slezkine tells the chilling story of how the building’s residents lived in their apartments and ruled the Soviet state until some eight hundred of them were evicted from the House and led, one by one, to prison or their deaths. Drawing on letters, diaries, and interviews, and featuring hundreds of rare photographs, The House of Government weaves together biography, literary criticism, architectural history, and fascinating new theories of revolutions, millennial prophecies, and reigns of terror. The result is an unforgettable human saga of a building that, like the Soviet Union itself, became a haunted house, forever disturbed by the ghosts of the disappeared.
The First Battle of the Twentieth Century
Author: William Philpott
For decades, the Battle of the Somme has exemplified the horrors and futility of trench warfare. Yet in Three Armies on the Somme, William Philpott makes a convincing argument that the battle ultimately gave the British and French forces on the Western Front the knowledge and experience to bring World War I to a victorious end. It was the most brutal fight in a war that scarred generations. Infantrymen lined up opposite massed artillery and machine guns. Chlorine gas filled the air. The dead and dying littered the shattered earth of no man’s land. Survivors were rattled with shell-shock. We remember the shedding of so much young blood and condemn the generals who sent their men to their deaths. Ever since, the Somme has been seen as a waste: even as the war continued, respected leaders—Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George among them—judged the battle a pointless one. While previous histories have documented the missteps of British command, no account has fully recognized the fact that allied generals were witnessing the spontaneous evolution of warfare even as they sent their troops “over the top.” With his keen insight and vast knowledge of military strategy, Philpott shows that twentieth-century war as we know it simply didn’t exist before the Battle of the Somme: new technologies like the armored tank made their battlefield debut, while developments in communications lagged behind commanders’ needs. Attrition emerged as the only means of defeating industrialized belligerents that were mobilizing all their resources for war. At the Somme, the allied armies acquired the necessary lessons of modern warfare, without which they could never have prevailed. An exciting, indispensable work of military history that challenges our received ideas about the Battle of the Somme, and about the very nature of war. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Robert Service
Publisher: Pegasus Books
A riveting account of the last eighteen months of Tsar Nicholas II's life and reign from one of the finest Russian historians writing today. In March 1917, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated and the dynasty that had ruled an empire for three hundred years was forced from power by revolution. Now, on the hundredth anniversary of that revolution, Robert Service, the eminent historian of Russia, examines Nicholas's life and thought from the months before his momentous abdication to his death, with his family, in Ekaterinburg in July 1918. The story has been told many times, but Service's deep understanding of the period and his forensic examination of previously untapped sources, including the Tsar's diaries and recorded conversations, as well as the testimonies of the official inquiry, shed remarkable new light on his troubled reign, also revealing the kind of Russia that Nicholas wanted to emerge from the Great War. The Last of the Tsars is a masterful study of a man who was almost entirely out of his depth, perhaps even willfully so. It is also a compelling account of the social, economic and political ferment in Russia that followed the February Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 and the beginnings of Lenin's Soviet socialist republic.
An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928
Author: S. A. Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The Russian Revolution of 1917 transformed the face of the Russian empire, politically, economically, socially, and culturally, and also profoundly affected the course of world history for the rest of the twentieth century. Now, to mark the centenary of this epochal event, historian SteveSmith presents a panoramic account of the history of the Russian empire, from the last years of the nineteenth century, through the First World War and the revolutions of 1917 and the establishment of the Bolshevik regime, to the end of the 1920s, when Stalin simultaneously unleashed violentcollectivization of agriculture and crash industrialization upon Russian society. Drawing on recent archivally-based scholarship, Russia in Revolution pays particular attention to the varying impact of the Revolution on the various groups that made up society: peasants, workers, non-Russian nationalities, the army, women and the family, young people, and the Church. In doing so, it provides a fresh way into the big, perennial questions about the Revolution and its consequences: why did the attempt by the tsarist government to implement political reform after the 1905 Revolution fail; why did the First World War bring about the collapse of the tsarist system;why did the attempt to create a democratic system after the February Revolution of 1917 not get off the ground; why did the Bolsheviks succeed in seizing and holding on to power; why did they come out victorious from a punishing civil war; why did the New Economic Policy they introduced in 1921fail; and why did Stalin come out on top in the power struggle inside the Bolshevik party after Lenin's death in 1924. A final chapter then reflects on the larger significance of 1917 for the history of the twentieth century - and, for all its terrible flaws, what the promise of the Revolution might mean for us today.
The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia 1917-18
Author: Richard K. Debo
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
This is a highly readable and absorbing account of Bolshevik foreign policy during Lenin's first year in power. In tracing the development of that policy, the book considers both the impact it had on a world torn by war and the effect it had on the Bolsheviks themselves, now no longer engaged in clandestine struggle but in effective state control. The book explores Lenin's relationship with the various elements of the party – his fruitful, but frequently discordant, relationship with Trotsky in particular – and the way he sought and obtained support for his policies in the tumultuous political circumstances of 1917 and 1918. It studies Lenin's political style as well, in an attempt to explain the shift from his utopianism of 1917 to his hard-headed political realism of 1918. The analysis focuses on the fundamental questions of how the Soviet state, lacking significant military forces in the midst of a world war, succeeded in surviving the first year of the revolution, and how it survived the new threat of the changed political situation at the end of the war. Revolution and Survival is the first history of Lenin's foreign policy during this crucial period, and Richard Debo has fused insight with style in a fascinating and authoritative book.