The Russian Origins of the First World War

Posted on centenarynews.com on 08 March 2016
Share |
Author: Sean Mcmeekin
Publication Date: 03 May 2013

Publisher's Description:

'The catastrophe of the First World War, and the destruction, revolution, and enduring hostilities it wrought, make the issue of its origins a perennial puzzle. Since World War II, Germany has been viewed as the primary culprit. Now, in a major reinterpretation of the conflict, Sean McMeekin rejects the standard notions of the war's beginning as either a Germano-Austrian preemptive strike or a "tragedy of miscalculation." Instead, he proposes that the key to the outbreak of violence lies in St. Petersburg. It was Russian statesmen who unleashed the war through conscious policy decisions based on imperial ambitions in the Near East. Unlike their civilian counterparts in Berlin, who would have preferred to localize the Austro-Serbian conflict, Russian leaders desired a more general war so long as British participation was assured. 

The war of 1914 was launched at a propitious moment for harnessing the might of Britain and France to neutralize the German threat to Russia's goal: partitioning the Ottoman Empire to ensure control of the Straits between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Nearly a century has passed since the guns fell silent on the western front. But in the lands of the former Ottoman Empire, World War I smolders still. Sunnis and Shiites, Arabs and Jews, and other regional antagonists continue fighting over the last scraps of the Ottoman inheritance. As we seek to make sense of these conflicts, McMeekin's powerful expose of Russia's aims in the First World War will illuminate our understanding of the twentieth century.'

Centenary News Review

There are no reviews yet for this book. Would you like to write one? Contact us

What do you think about this book? Please add a comment below.

About Us

Centenary News is a not for profit social enterprise - that has been set up to provide independent, impartial and international coverage of the Centenary of the First World War.

Let us know if you have a news story or a video that you would like to appear on the site.

The site has the following sections:

News Items

Debates

Videos

Articles and Blogs

Centenary News Features

Book Reviews

Events Diary

Organisation Profiles

Please contact us for more information.