This innovative new study analyzes the origins of the First and Second World Wars in one single volume by drawing on a wide range of material, including original sources. In concise, readable chapters, the author surveys the key issues surrounding the causes of both wars, offers an original and critical survey of the conflict of opinion among historians and provides a lively selection of primary documents on major issues. The result is a unique perspective on the origins of the two most devastating military conflicts in world history.
From the Back Cover: From the moment of its publication in 1961, A.J.P. Taylor's seminal work caused a storm of praise and controversy, and it has since been recognized as a classic: the first book ever to examine exclusively and in depth the causes of the Second World War and to apportion the responsibility among Allies and Germans alike. With crisp, clear prose and brilliant analysis, Taylor established that the war, "far from being premeditated, was a mistake, the result on both sides of diplomatic blunders." He argued that Hitler was more an opportunist than an ideologue who owed his successes to Great Britain's and France's tacking between resistance and appeasement, and to an American policy akin to "the significant episode of the dog in the night, to which Sherlock Holmes once drew attention. When Watson objected: 'But the dog did nothing in the night," Holmes answered: 'That was the significant episode.' "The Times Literary Supplement called The Origins of the Second World War "simple, devastating, superlatively readable, and deeply disturbing," and it remains so now-a groundbreaking book of enduring importance.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
How and why did Britain become involved in the First World War? Taking into account the scholarship of the last twenty-five years, this second edition of Zara S. Steiner's classic study, thoroughly revised with Keith Neilson, explores a subject which is as highly contentious as ever. While retaining the basic argument that Britain went to war in 1914 not as a result of internal pressures but as a response to external events, Steiner and Neilson reject recent arguments that Britain became involved because of fears of an 'invented' German menace, or to defend her Empire. Instead, placing greater emphasis than before on the role of Russia, the authors convincingly argue that Britain entered the war in order to preserve the European balance of power and the nation's favourable position within it. Lucid and comprehensive, Britain and the Origins of the First World War brings together the bureaucratic, diplomatic, economic, strategical and ideological factors that led to Britain's entry into the Great War, and remains the most complete survey of the pre-war situation.
Exploring the reasons why the Second World War broke out in September 1939 and why a European conflict developed into a war that spanned the globe, The Origins of the Second World War argues that this was not just ‘Hitler’s War’ but one that had its roots and origins in the decline of the old empires of Britain and France and the rise of ambitious new powers in Germany, Italy and Japan who wanted large empires of their own. This fourth edition has been revised throughout, covering the origins of the war from its background in the First World War to its expansion to embrace the Soviet Union, Japan and the United States by the end of 1941. Creating a comprehensive and analytical narrative while remaining a succinct overview of the subject, this book takes a thematic approach to the complex range of events that culminated in global warfare, discussing factors such as economic rivalry, rearmament and domestic politics and emphasising that any explanation of the outbreak of hostilities must be global in scope. Containing updated references and primary source documents alongside a glossary, a chronology of key events and a Who’s Who of important figures, this book is an invaluable introduction for any student of this fascinating period.
When A.J.P. Taylor's The Origins of the Second World War appeared in 1961 it made a profound impact. The book became a classic and a central point of reference in all discussion on the Second World War. The second edition of this distinguished collection, written by leading experts in the field, is designed to bring the state of the argument up to date. The issues discussed include: * the legacy of the Treaty of Versailles * Hitlers foreign policy * Appeasement * AJP Taylor and the Russians * the treatment of the crises leading up to war including the Anschluss, Danzig, Abysinnian crises and the Spanish Civil War. This second edition will ensure that The Origins of the Second World War will remain a high priority student and scholarly reading lists.
One of the most hotly disputed topics in twentieth-century history has been Germany's share of responsibility—its "guilt"—for the outbreak of the two world wars. In this short, penetrating study, Europe's leading authority on German power politics clarifies the dispute and offers insight into this central question about modern Germany.
Origins of the First World War summarizes and analyses the policies, issues and crises that brought Europe to war in 1914. Martel explains the position of each of the great powers,and their place in the system of alliances that dominated international politics. He examines the strategic and political problems that confronted each power, and the way in which society and economics influenced the decision-making process. In a clear and accessible manner, the book demonstrates: how and why the alliance system was created how it led to a network of complicated strategic commitments how an escalating series of international crises from the turn of the century fuelled preparations for war why the peculiarities of the Balkans are essential in understanding the outbreak of war in 1914 Incorporating the latest scholarship on the subject, this revisedthird edition provides a Guide to Further Reading, Who's Who andGlossary. The comprehensive selection of Documents include key treaties, crises and representations of popular militarism and nationalism. The book provides students with the clearest, most concise, accessible and up-to-date account of the Origins of the First World War available. Gordon Martel is Professor and Chair of History at the University of Northern British Columbia and Senior Research Fellow, De Montfort University
In her analysis of the reasons for the outbreak of the Second World War, one of the most controversial of all historical topics, Ruth Henig: · considers the long-term factors that led to the war · assess the effect of British appeasement policies · explains the significance of American isolation · examines the ambitions of Italy, Japan and Russia.
One of the most popular and controversial historians of the twentieth century, who made his subject accessible to millions, A.J.P. Taylor caused a storm of outrage with this scandalous bestseller. Debunking what were accepted truths about the Second World War, he argued provocatively that Hitler did not set out to cause the war as part of an evil master plan, but blundered into it partly by accident, aided by the shortcomings of others. Fiercely attacked for vindicating Hitler, A.J.P. Taylor’s stringent re-examination of the events preceding the Nazi invasion of Poland on 1st September 1939 opened up new debate, and is now recognized as a brilliant and classic piece of scholarly research. ‘Highly original and penetrating ... No one who has digested this enthralling work will ever be able to look at the period again in quite the same way’ Sunday Telegraph.
The seminal event of the 20th century, the origins of the First World War have always been difficult to establish and have aroused deep controversy. Annika Mombauer tracks the impassioned debates as they developed at critical points through the twentieth century. The book focuses on the controversy itself, rather than the specific events leading up to the war. Emotive and emotional from the very beginning of the conflict, the debate and the passions aroused in response to such issues as the ‘war-guilt paragraph’ of the treaty of Versailles, are set in the context of the times in which they were proposed. Similarly, the argument has been fuelled by concerns over the sacrifices that were made and the casualities that were suffered. Were they really justified?