Book review: The Sleepwalkers, By Christopher Clark


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The Independent Culture

Probing the events and characters that ignited war in 1914, this book is as authoritative as it is gripping.

Drawing a parallel with 9/11, Clark suggests that the crisis following the assassination of Franz Ferdinand (brilliantly described here) was "the most complex [event] of modern times".

While focusing on the Balkans, Clark also provides a vivid panorama of the jostling among Europe's policymakers including Sir Edward Grey, a formidable operator behind "a posture of gentlemanly diffidence".

The reader is rapt as "watchful but unseeing" protagonists head for inconceivable horror.