Dance of the Furies

Dance of the Furies

Michael S. Neiberg
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Harvard University Press
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2jbxpk
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  • Book Info
    Dance of the Furies
    Book Description:

    Looking beyond diplomats and generals, Neiberg shows that neither nationalist passions nor desires for revenge took Europe to war in 1914. Dance of the Furies gives voice to a generation who suddenly found themselves compelled to participate in a ghastly, protracted orgy of violence they never imagined would come to pass.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-06117-0
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[x])
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-9)

    In June 1914, journalist, amateur historian of the Balkans, and keen observer of European affairs Herbert Adams Gibbons was considering leaving France and returning to his native United States. He decided to postpone his departure to spend one last calm, uneventful summer in the Paris he and his wife had come to love. As always happened with the approach of July and August, activity in the city would gradually slow to a crawl, leaving him with fewer stories to cover and more time to enjoy one final idyllic French summer. He and his wife planned to spend most of July...

  4. 1 A CLAP OF THUNDER IN THE SUMMER SKY
    (pp. 10-35)

    June 28, 1914, has become one of the most important dates in European history. Within a few remarkably short weeks the events of that day became intimately connected to the onset of a war affecting millions of people in all of the great (and many of the lesser) powers. In retrospect it became easy for Europeans to see that fateful day as the watershed between a peaceful, bucolic, and unusually pleasant summer that represented all that was good about Europe, and the beginning of an immense tragedy that revealed all of the continent’s worst traits. Baron Beyens, the Belgian minister...

  5. 2 BACKGROUND TO SARAJEVO, 1905 – 1914
    (pp. 36-65)

    In early July 1914 the traditional European diplomatic system would, in just a few days’ time, undergo the worst failure in its history. It was soon to produce a crisis that would lead Europe down a spiral of four years of unprecedented carnage. Yet to most Europeans at the time, the secret world of diplomacy and backroom deals was, if not exactly in tune with the democratic spirit of the age, nevertheless a source of strength and an important counterweight to war. In the past decade (and even before) crises large and small had come and gone on the European...

  6. 3 THE DELIVERY OF THE AUSTRO - HUNGARIAN ULTIMATUM
    (pp. 66-92)

    As late as the third week of July 1914, news from the Balkans remained on “the inconspicuous centre page” of newspapers in most European cities. Those who had been carefully following European diplomacy over the past decade knew, however, that the crisis resulting from the assassination of Franz Ferdinand was probably not quite over yet.¹ Europeans who could still be bothered to care about the fourth major incident in the Balkans in just six years expected the Austro-Hungarian government to make some sort of formal response to the assassination of the archduke.² Most anticipated an Austro-Hungarian response based on genuine...

  7. 4 DRIFTING INTO WAR AGAINST HER WILL
    (pp. 93-120)

    Matters grew more serious on July 25, when Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph authorized his army to invade Serbia. Serbia had accepted all but one of the demands in the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, and diplomats across Europe were urging patience, but the extremists inside the Dual Monarchy had decided to go to war regardless. Mobilization was to begin within three days. The delay was not intended to leave open the possibility of diplomacy; it was meant instead to allow the remainder of men on harvest leave to return to their units and to ensure that the French president and prime minister had...

  8. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  9. 5 THE COMING OF A GREAT STORM
    (pp. 121-149)

    News of mobilization orders and declarations of war arrived in communities across Europe with a furious flurry in the first days of August. Given the speed and suddenness with which the Balkan crisis had developed into a general continental conlict, Europeans understandably received the news of war with a great deal of surprise and confusion. The reactions of Europeans to the outbreak of war, like the reactions to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and the delivery of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia, show remarkable similarities across national borders. Although the enemy changed from country to country, the responses were largely the...

  10. 6 OUR FAMILIES WILL BE THEIR VICTIMS
    (pp. 150-179)

    On August 15, an ocean liner arrived in Plymouth from South Africa on its regularly scheduled service. The ship was met by British soldiers who removed and arrested all the German passengers who were aboard. Many of the Germans had struck up friendships with English passengers, and people of both nationalities were stunned to discover that in the time it took them to complete their voyage, their two nations had somehow found themselves at war.¹ Their voyage symbolized the shocking speed of events. The day before the ship’s arrival, the Wiltshire News had written, “Three short weeks ago the man...

  11. 7 HARDENING ATTITUDES
    (pp. 180-207)

    In early August, Kaiser Wilhelm had promised the German people that their husbands, brothers, and sons would be home before the leaves fell to the ground. But even as the autumn leaves first began to change colors his promise already seemed a quaint relic of a bygone era. Few people any longer believed that the war might end by Christmas, although most people still held firm to a conviction that their side would eventually win. Autumn witnessed an intensification of many of the patterns of summer, but several new themes emerged, including the beginning of domestic discord, an early sense...

  12. 8 AN EVIL DANCE OF THE FURIES
    (pp. 208-233)

    Around the middle of November, as the last leaves were falling from trees across Europe, the two warring sides on the western front exhausted each other near the medieval Belgian cloth town of Ypres. The twin battles of Ypres and the Yser ended the so-called race to the sea and any hope that one side might be able to outflank the other and resume fighting on open ground. With tens of thousands of men dead and both sides out of munitions, neither army had any strength left to attack. For the foreseeable future, this war, which most believed should have...

  13. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 234-238)

    For almost a century now debates about 1914 have centered on the actions of a very small group of men (and they were all men) whose decisions led Europe into a war whose outcomes and ferocity none of them accurately foresaw. But there is another side to the story of 1914 that has until now gone largely untold. It is the story of the millions of people who neither desired nor expected a war in the summer of 1914, but who nevertheless fought that war to the bitter end. By looking at the people of Europe rather than at their...

  14. NOTES
    (pp. 239-284)
  15. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. 285-286)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 287-292)