The Russian Origins of the First World War

4.04 avg rating
( 140 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780674062108: The Russian Origins of the First World War

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 exposé of Russia's aims in the First World War will illuminate our understanding of the twentieth century.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Sean McMeekin is Assistant Professor of History at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Review:

This book should forever change the ways we have understood the role of Russia in the First World War. (Michael S. Neiberg, author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I)

A bold reinterpretation of the Russian Empire's entry into the First World War. McMeekin argues that Russia believed a European war to be in its interest, that it sought to humiliate Vienna, and that it hoped to conquer Constantinople and the Ottoman Straits. (Mustafa Aksakal, author of The Ottoman Road to War in 1914)

The Russian Origins of the First World War is a polemic in the best sense. Written in a lively and engaging style, it should provoke a much-needed debate on Russia's role in the Great War. (Michael Reynolds, author of Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1918)

Going against a century of received wisdom, Bilkent University professor McMeekin offers a dramatic new interpretation of WWI...Rifling the archives, analyzing battle plans, and sifting through the machinations of high diplomacy, McMeekin reveals the grand ambitions of czarist Russia, which wanted control of the Black Sea straits to guarantee all-weather access to foreign markets. Maneuvering France and England into a war against Germany presented the best chance to acquire this longed-for prize. No empire had more to gain from the coming conflict, and none pushed harder to ensure its arrival. Once unleashed, however, the conflagration leapt out of control, and imperial Russia herself ranked among its countless victims. (Publishers Weekly 2011-09-26)

Casting a contrarian eye on the first major conflict of the twentieth century, Sean McMeekin finds the roots of WWI inside Russia, whose leaders deliberately sought--for their own ends--to expand a brawl that the Germans wanted to keep local. The author tracks the fallout of these antique plots right down to the present geopolitical landscape. (Barnes & Noble Review 2012-01-13)

An entirely new take on the origins of World War I comes as a surprise. If war guilt is to be assigned, this book argues, it should go not only (or even primarily) to Germany--the long-accepted culprit--but also to Russia...Bold reading between the lines of history. (Robert Legvold Foreign Affairs 2012-01-01)

As Sean McMeekin argues in this bold and brilliant revisionist study, Russia was as much to blame as Germany for the outbreak of the war. Using a wide range of archival sources, including long-neglected tsarist documents, he argues that the Russians had ambitions of their own (the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, no less) and that they were ready for a war once they had secured a favorable alliance with the British and the French. (Orlando Figes Sunday Times 2012-01-01)

The book is a refreshing challenge to longstanding assumptions and shifted perspectives are always good. (Miriam Cosic The Australian 2012-03-03)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Mcmeekin, Sean.
Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London England (2011)
ISBN 10: 0674062108 ISBN 13: 9780674062108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Ad Infinitum Books
(Mount Vernon, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London England, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 344 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. WORLD WAR I. 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 exposŽ of Russia's aims in the First World War will illuminate our understanding of the twentieth century. Sean McMeekin is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University in Turkey. "The book is a refreshing challenge to longstanding assumptions and shifted perspectives are always good."ÑMiriam Cosic, The Australian "Casting a contrarian eye on the first major conflict of the twentieth century, Sean McMeekin finds the roots of WWI inside Russia, whose leaders deliberately soughtÑfor their own endsÑto expand a brawl that the Germans wanted to keep local. The author tracks the fallout of these antique plots right down to the present geopolitical landscape."ÑBarnes & Noble Review "An entirely new take on the origins of World War I comes as a surprise. If war guilt is to be assigned, this book argues, it should go not only (or even primarily) to GermanyÑthe long-accepted culpritÑbut also to RussiaÉ Bold reading between the lines of history."ÑRobert Legvold, Foreign Affairs "Going against a century of received wisdom, Bilkent University professor McMeekin offers a dramatic new interpretation of WWIÉ Rifling the archives, analyzing battle plans, and sifting through the machinations of high diplomacy, McMeekin reveals the grand ambitions of czarist Russia, which wanted control of the Black Sea straits to guarantee all-weather access to foreign markets. Maneuvering France and England into a war against Germany presented the best chance to acquire this longed-for prize. No empire had more to gain from the coming conflict, and none pushed harder to ensure its arrival. Once unleashed, however, the conflagration leapt out of control, and imperial Russia herself ranked among its countless victims."ÑPublishers Weekly "As Sean McMeekin argues in this bold and brilliant revisionist study, Russia was as much to blame as Germany for the outbreak of the war. Using a wide range of archival sources, including long-neglected tsarist documents, he argues that the Russians had ambitions of their own (the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, no less) and that they were ready for a war once they had secured a favorable alliance with the British and the French."ÑOrlando Figes, The Sunday Times "A bold reinterpretation of the Russian Empire's entry into the First World War. McMeekin argues that Russia believed a European war to be in its interest, that it sought to humiliate Vienna, and that i. book. Bookseller Inventory # 76282X2

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 36.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

McMeekin, Sean
Published by Belknap Pr (2011)
ISBN 10: 0674062108 ISBN 13: 9780674062108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Belknap Pr, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st ed. edition. 344 pages. 9.50x6.50x1.25 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0674062108

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 53.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.91
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

McMeekin, Sean
Published by Belknap Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0674062108 ISBN 13: 9780674062108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Belknap Press, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110674062108

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 60.74
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

McMeekin, Sean
Published by Belknap Press
ISBN 10: 0674062108 ISBN 13: 9780674062108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Belknap Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0674062108 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0254898

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Sean McMeekin
Published by Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0674062108 ISBN 13: 9780674062108
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0674062108

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 72.29
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds