Folly and Malice
Folly and Malice

Folly and Malice

The Habsburg Empire, the Balkans and the Start of World War One

HISTORY

794 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $41.95 (US $41.95) (CA $51.95)

Publication Date: September 2017

ISBN 9780856835131

Rights: WOR X EUR

Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers (Sep 2017)
Shepheard-Walwyn

Price: $41.95
 
 

Overview

Widely divergent interpretations characterize the ongoing debate about the circumstances which led to the outbreak of the First World War. John Zametica's work stands out because he has been able to resolve questions that have successfully eluded generations of his predecessors.  He takes a close look at the Balkan policies pursued by Austria-Hungary after it occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1878, examining the Habsburg plans for internal reform of the Empire, plans so often attributed to Franz Ferdinand. Far from intending to reform his empire on the nationality principle, his plan was to establish a highly centralized state, and, rather than preserving the status quo, Vienna's Balkan policies were aimed at achieving regional dominance by force. Bosnia-Herzegovina was never a major issue in relations between Vienna and Belgrade, and the so-called 'existential South Slav threat' allegedly posed by Serbia in fact originated in the Monarchy itself. Gavrilo Princip, the Archduke's assassin, was a 'Yugoslav', not a Serbian nationalist, while the man universally assumed to have master-minded the Sarajevo assassination had, on the contrary, tried to stop it. Utilizing a wide range of Serbo-Croat and German-language sources, the author presents a new picture of the events that led to the Archduke's assassination. The impetus for the Great War was not so much a quarrel between Austria-Hungary and Serbia as a conscious, last-ditch attempt by the former to achieve, by force of arms, a consolidation of the Empire at home and Balkan domination abroad. In this, Vienna was supported by a Germany bidding for continental hegemony.

Reviews

"John Zametica has been controversial in his time, but let that not detract from what is a brilliant piece of historical writing on one of the most important aspects of the outbreak of the First World War. Not since Vladimir Dedijer's The Road to Sarajevo in 1967 has a book of this power and authority addressed the subject. John Zametica's scope is even wider than Dedijer's, and his conclusions more compelling." —Professor Sir Hew Strachan

"This painstaking and meticulous piece of scholarship offers a challenge to some widely-held assumptions about the events which led up to the outbreak of World War One . . . This book has been a revelation to me and, whilst it might be considered controversial in some quarters, its challenge to existing thinking makes it a very significant contribution to the continuing debate about the causes of the Great War." —Trevor James, The Historian

"This painstaking and meticulous piece of scholarship offers a challenge to some widely-held assumptions about the events which led up to the outbreak of World War One . . . This book has been a revelation to me and, whilst it might be considered controversial in some quarters, its challenge to existing thinking makes it a very significant contribution to the continuing debate about the causes of the Great War." —Trevor James, The Historian

"I hope it will not be too long before it gets critical acclaim and enters the canon as a seminal work that redefined how scholars and the rest of us look at First World War history. It's a long and complex book full of painstaking research of both primary and secondary sources, creating one of the most exciting academic texts I've come across in ages." —Tijana Delic, Britic

"Zametica's will be the automatic reference point for any future discussion . . . this writer has gripped the detail of the assassination story more fully than anyone before him . . . The book is both important and convincing. It will be essential reading for history undergraduates and should appeal to a broader audience." —Dr. Michael Stenton, Emeritus Fellow, Clare College, Cambridge

Author Biography

John Zametica is the editor of British Officials and British Foreign Policy, 1945-50 (Leicester University Press, 1990) and the author of The Yugoslav Conflict (Brassey´s, The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1992). He lives and works in Vienna.