Europe's Last Summer - David Fromkin

Europe's Last Summer

By David Fromkin

  • Release Date: 2004-03-23
  • Genre: Military
Score: 4.5
From 6 Ratings


When war broke out in Europe in 1914, it surprised a European population enjoying the most beautiful summer in memory. For nearly a century since, historians have debated the causes of the war. Some have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; others have concluded it was unavoidable.

In Europe’s Last Summer, David Fromkin provides a different answer: hostilities were commenced deliberately. In a riveting re-creation of the run-up to war, Fromkin shows how German generals, seeing war as inevitable, manipulated events to precipitate a conflict waged on their own terms. Moving deftly between diplomats, generals, and rulers across Europe, he makes the complex diplomatic negotiations accessible and immediate. Examining the actions of individuals amid larger historical forces, this is a gripping historical narrative and a dramatic reassessment of a key moment in the twentieth-century.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


  • Very interesting read for even those with little WWI knowledge

    By Augustine864
    This book was assigned by a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in a class on "Peace and War”. I found it to be incredibly interesting how the relationships between statesmen, some of them acting against the wishes of their heads of state, drove Europe to one of its most destructive wars. We often attribute states with their own sets of interests and their own momentum as though they are separate cognitive entities, beyond the abilities of the individual to affect, but the reality is that state policy is very much within the realm of man and within our ability to control. The extent to which certain statesmen planned and manipulated to bring these countries to war is fascinating. Recommended read.
  • Europe's Last Summer

    By Luis Cortavarria
    Quite educational book on the transition towards the great war. A must read to everyone interested in learning human history.