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The Outbreak of War in 1914 Revisited


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Speaker(s): Professor Christopher Clark
Chair: Professor David Stevenson

Recorded on 22 January 2013 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House.

Few episodes in the history of modern Europe have attracted such intense and lasting historical interest as the July Crisis of 1914. The chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War One still offers one of the most dramatic and intellectually enthralling narratives in modern history. Yet the size and sophistication of the existing secondary literature poses a challenge: how to generate fresh insights into a crisis that has preoccupied historians and generated controversy for nearly a century. This lecture revisits the crisis of 1914, reflects on trends in the recent and older writing on the outbreak of war and examines some new angles of approach. Christopher Clark is professor of modern European history at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge. His principal publications include The Politics of Conversion. Missionary Protestantism and the Jews in Prussia, 1728-1941 (OUP: Oxford, 1995), Kaiser Wilhelm II. A Life in Power (Allen Lane: London, 2009) and (co-edited with Wolfram Kaiser) Culture Wars. Catholic-Secular Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Europe (CUP: Cambridge, 2003) and Iron Kingdom. The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (Allen Lane: London, 2006).

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