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Judgement and understanding: Margaret MacMillan on the First World War

By Jonathan Derbyshire  

The steady stream of books about the First World War has become a torrent as we approach the centenary of the outbreak of hostilities next year. One of the more notable contributions to this effusion of Great War historiography is Margaret MacMillan’s The War That Ended Peace: How Europe Abandoned Peace for the First World War. The road to war was not only unusually rapid, it was also unusually complex. MacMillan insists that in order to solve the “puzzle” of the First World War (“How…

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