Jane Shaw
Jane Shaw asked:

Do you think that Clarke's Sleepwalkers is a fairer book than MacMillan's? MacMillan has an annoying habit of using the term "conservative" for things she dislikes and makes modern illustrative references to people like George W. Bush and the U. S. Congress, catering to left-leaning readers.

Keith While I accept that the term 'conservative' is not to everybody's liking, it does for the most part describe well the politics of the time (especially in the UK where there was and still is a Conservative party).

With regards to George Bush and US Congress, I did not feel there was much opinion attached to any example used. Instead I felt that she was using the available facts to bring a modern comparison to the events leading up to 1914.

I would be interested to know if you think there is a difference in viewpoint regarding the causes of the First World War between left and right leaning readers?
Peter Brimacombe I read both books and both are excellent. Christopher Clarke starts off with events in Serbia - largely unknown in Canada.

She is writing about events and people, 100 years ago. I think she is fair. The Kaiser and the German leaders completely misplayed their hand. They completely misjudged Germany's position in Europe and their own position in Germany. Conrad von Hotzendorf the chief of the Austrian-Hungarian military misjudged his own army and the other armies too.

To me, Margaret MacMillian's book confirmed and reinforced Christopher Clarke's book. I suppose that if they discussed The War for some time, their disagreement would more be a matter of emphasis and language.
Sherry I cannot answer the question fully as I have not finished reading the title yet; I can say this; I am on the 2nd downloadable audio file and I'm not sure if it is the author or the inflection by the narrator, Richard Burnip; But the 'degenerative' tone that the book is starting to take is definitely starting to repel this reader. Too many of late, non-fiction, history books have 'leanings' of one way or another, the arrogance of 20/20 hindsight is blatant and woven in with the book. A grievous error for any writer of non-fiction history.
Cosmin B I liked Sleepwalkers much more than MacMillan's book because it explains in greater detail what was happening in the world at the time and also it seemed that Clarke avoided expressing his own opinions.
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