I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway. The Assassination of the Archduke is an exceptional story of Franz Ferdinand, the heir apparent to the Austr...moreI won this book as a Goodreads giveaway. The Assassination of the Archduke is an exceptional story of Franz Ferdinand, the heir apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his romance and marriage to Sophia, their assassination and the tragic consequences that resulted not only for Europe but their family. The book provides a more in-depth historical narrative of the lives of the first two causalities of the First World War. Previously, I had only known about the assassination and how it precipitated the start of the Great War. King and Woolsman provide very broad readable and enjoyable book on Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Austro-Hungarian royal life near the end of the Hapsburg dynastic rule. Despite pressures from the royal family Franz Ferdinand married for love not for dynastic considerations. This decision, it could be argued, may have ultimately led to his death in Sarajevo. His uncle the Emperor Franz Joseph very reluctantly agreed to the marriage on the condition that Ferdinand would never allow his heirs to seek the throne. Throughout the book the Emperor’s indifference, bordering on outright hostility, and of the other royals, may have emboldened those that did not like Franz Ferdinand to be negligent in his protection on Ferdinand’s trip to Sarajevo. It seems it was an open secret that Serb nationalists (Black Hand) were looking to kill an important member of the Austro-Hungarian government and Ferdinand’s trip provided them with a fantastic target. The book does not end with the assassination it also follows Sophia and Ferdinand’s children through Nazi occupation and their interment in concentration camps and the family’s fight to reclaim their lost property confiscated after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Nazi Germany. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of European Royalty, Austro-Hungarian Empire, or interested in origins of WWI. (less)
Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin is a good narrative history of the momentous 1912 presidential electio...moreI won this book through Goodreads Giveaways.
Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin is a good narrative history of the momentous 1912 presidential election. It is a highly readable history that anyone, from general reader to scholar, interested in the Progressive Era and the election of 1912 should find enjoyable.
The author Gerard Helferich follows the paths of Teddy Roosevelt and his campaign and his would be assassin, John Schrank, to their fateful day in Milwaukee. Schrank believed he was chosen to be the man to prevent Roosevelt from becoming a “third-termer”. Schrank believed that if Roosevelt once again became president Roosevelt would more-or-less abolish the constitution, appoint himself king, cause civil war, and destroy the United States. Schrank developed this premise during the years after the assassination of President McKinley and Roosevelt’s announcement to run for a third term. Once the Bull Moose Party was formed Schrank began stalking the ex-president with the intent to kill Roosevelt thus saving America. Schrank’s plan to save America by killing Roosevelt was thwarted in Milwaukee because of Roosevelt’s folded speech and eyeglass case slowing the bullet enough to only wound. Schrank would be committed to an insane asylum in Wisconsin where he lived out his days.
The book also follows the other candidates of the 1912 election giving the reader a useful history of the politics and issues of the era. In addition, the epilogue nicely wraps up what happened to Schrank and the other presidential candidates of the race; Wilson, Roosevelt, Debs, and Taft. (less)