From the bestselling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a gripping work of narrative nonfiction, a riveting story of Europe and the world in the years leading up to World War I. Master writer and historian Margaret MacMillan creates a fascinating portrait of the personalities and factors that pushed Europe over the brink into a catastrophic, world-changing conflagration.
The century since the end of the Napoleonic wars had been the most peaceful era Europe had known since the fall of the Roman Empire. In the first years of the twentieth century, Europe believed it was marching to a golden, happy, and prosperous future. But instead, the continent walked over a cliff into a war that killed millions, destroyed economies, tore apart empires, and fatally undermined Europe’s dominance of the world. With a sweeping narrative, vivid characters, and sharp insight, Margaret MacMillan powerfully evokes the decisions made, and the economic, social, political, and human tensions that determined the lead-up to the war. Colonial rivalries, ethnic nationalism, Germany’s rise to power, shifting alliances, and the belief in social Darwinism—that competition among nations was part of nature’s rule and that the strongest would rightfully emerge victorious—all exerted influence. Illuminating, absorbing, and beautifully written, The War That Ended Peace is a masterly work about the transformation of Europe, and the world.
About Margaret MacMillan
Margaret MacMillan is the author of Paris 1919, Nixon and Mao, and Women of the Raj. Paris 1919 won the Duff Cooper Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction, the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, a Silver Medal for the Arthur Ross Book Award of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Governor-General’s prize for nonfiction, and it was selected by the editors of The New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year. A past provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, MacMillan is the warden of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University.