- By Michael S. Neiberg

Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I

  • Title: Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I
  • Author: Michael S. Neiberg
  • ISBN: 9780674049543
  • Page: 230
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dance of the Furies Europe and the Outbreak of World War I By training his eye on the ways that people outside the halls of power reacted to the rapid onset and escalation of the fighting in Neiberg dispels the notion that Europeans were rabid nationali

    By training his eye on the ways that people outside the halls of power reacted to the rapid onset and escalation of the fighting in 1914, Neiberg dispels the notion that Europeans were rabid nationalists intent on mass slaughter He reveals instead a complex set of allegiances that cut across national boundaries.

    1 thought on “Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I

    1. I'm a little divided as to how to rate this book. It's theme is how people entered a war mentality at the beginning of the Great War, and it's thesis is that nationalistic hatred were a result of the war, but they did not exist prior to the war in sufficient strength to be a cause of the war.This argument has, from what I can gather, a certain degree of merit. Ordinary people were certainly not universally demanding a war prior to hostilities. However, Neiberg pounds his contrarian points so har [...]

    2. A very interesting book on the First World War."Dance of the Furies" is part of the "rediscovery of 1914," the realization that the first year of the war was the bloodiest and most lethal, despite the fact that the more famous battles happened later.Neiberg looks at public opinion from the start of the July Crisis to the end of 1914. He finds not an enthusiasm for going to war but surprise that events moved so quickly and a grim resolve to defend one's country from invasion.It takes a while to g [...]

    3. This well-written book describes and documents the views and opinions of common, everyday people all over Europe in the weeks and days leading up to the outbreak of World War I (no one expected war), the change in views when war began (we must fight to defend our countries!), citizens' inability to obtain good information on what was happening in the war due to government censorship and, finally, the deep depression and despair that overcame the civilian populations and the soldiers on the front [...]

    4. Neiberg uses diaries, memoirs, and letters, belonging to both soldiers and civilians, to show that ordinary Europeans, at least in the summer and fall of 1914, didn't expect war and didn't want it, and didn't feel raging hatreds for the nations they were fighting. (Some of those hatreds would develop as the conflict went on, of course.) There were chunks of the book that were quite interesting, and chunks that were rather boring. As an example of how quoting from diaries and letters can be a les [...]

    5. This is an example of a focused history. The target period is the time immediately prior to the outbreak of the first world war (Summer 1914) until the end of 1914. The intent of the book is to show how the outbreak of war was experienced by a population that almost uniformly did not see that war was coming, did not want war to come, did not view other nations as enemies or evil, and did not see the immediate cause of the war (the Sarajevo murders of the Archduke and his wife) was worthy of conf [...]

    6. This book appears to be an extremely well researched look at world war one. The themes that stood out to me were:1) The relatively minor underlying causes.2) The lack of will or want to war on the part of the whole of the population.3) The surprise and shock that war actually did break out.4) How quickly the war turned nasty through manipulation of the masses by the leadership. The justification of war as being caused by the other side.5) Various thematic descriptions of war in its different sta [...]

    7. Wasn't excited at all to read this, only for not wanting to look stupid at book club did I complete it. However, I did learn a lot about WWI and why it started, much more than I had learned before. It is truly amazing how war can seem to take on a life of its own, despite no one really wanting it to happen. I appreciated the author's heavy use of letters and examples of people, not just high ranking government officials. It gave the book more depth than an average history lesson. Well worth read [...]

    8. A clearly written account of the social, cultural and psychological factors supporting the start of WWI and emerging in its first year to create the brutal futility of the Great War. Neiberg is somewhat repetitive in making his point at times but his writing is relatively engaging and rich with first-hand accounts.

    9. As some other reviewers said, the constant repetition of some points weakens this book. I was especially struck, though, by his assertion (with copious evidence) that most Europeans did not welcome the start of the war — Martin Gilbert's history, for one, asserts the opposite.

    10. A stirring and vividly-written account of the tangle of forces that led to World War I. Here's my Open Letters Monthly review:openlettersmonthly/boo

    11. This is a very good short (237 pages) introduction to the causes of WWI and how it got out of hand so quickly.

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