Large Image

The Spark in the Tinderbox

by (Now and Then Reader)

(2 reviews)


Share This


When it came to assigning guilt for the cataclysm that led to the horrors of the twentieth century in Europe, all five major players in the events that launched World War I -- Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Great Britain -- claimed innocence. The record of intricate and complex diplomacy and alliances among these powers in the run-up to the Great War often ignores the role of Serbian nationalism and the signal moment it produced: the assassination of the Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo on the morning of Sunday, 28 June 1914, by Serbian terrorists. It put an exclamation point on the political tension and instability of the Balkans in the years before the outbreak of war.

In his new book The Sleepwalkers (called by the New York Times "a masterpiece"), Christopher Clark tells how the European continent, seemingly at peace, fell into war just thirty-seven days after the incident at Sarajevo. The assassination of the archduke, Clark argues, was not a marginal act, as many historians have suggested, but a key provocation. The conflict that began that summer mobilized 65 million troops, claimed three empires, 20 million military and civilian deaths, and 21 million wounded. The American historian Fritz Stern called it "the first calamity of the twentieth century, the calamity from which all other calamities sprang." The Old World aspects of these events disguise some very modern elements in the assassination at Sarajevo: a cavalcade of automobiles, a squad of suicide bombers, and "an avowedly terrorist organization with a cult of sacrifice, death, and revenge" that existed across political borders, without a clear location. Here in gripping detail is the story of what happened on that fateful morning in Sarajevo.


Christopher Clark is professor of modern European history and a fellow of St. Catharine's College at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He has also written Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, among other books.

Tag This Book

This Book Has Been Tagged
It hasn't. Be the first to tag this book!

Our Recommendation

None. We do not have enough historical data to make any recommendations.

Notify Me When The Price...

  • £
  • If I'm already tracking this book...

to track this book on eReaderIQ.

Track These Authors

to track Christopher Clark on eReaderIQ.

  • to be notified each time the price drops on any book by Christopher Clark.
  • to stop tracking Christopher Clark.

Price Summary

  • We started tracking this book on January 26, 2014.
  • This book was £1.91 when we started tracking it.
  • The price of this book has changed one time in the past 3,772 days.
  • The current price of this book is £2.22 last checked one day ago.
  • This book is currently at its highest price since we started tracking it.


Additional Info

  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 39 Pages
  • File Size: 3,590 KB

We last verified the price of this book about one day ago. At that time, the price was £2.22. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.