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The Great War not only destroyed the lives of over twenty million soldiers and civilians, it also ushered in a century of huge political and social upheaval, led directly to the Second World War and altered for ever the mechanisms of governments. And yet its causes, both long term and immediate, have continued to be shrouded in mystery. In EUROPE'S LAST SUMMER, David Fromkin reveals a new pattern in the happenings of that fateful July and August, which leads in unexpected directions. Rather than one war, starting with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, he sees two conflicts, related but not inseparably linked, whose management drew Europe and the world into what The Economist described as early as 1914 as 'perhaps the greatest tragedy in human history'.
Coming of age during World War I and attaining their finest hour in World War II and the Cold War, these men -- FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur -- transformed America from an isolated frontier nation into a global superpower. As he tells their stories, Fromkin, author of A Peace to End All Peace, shows how this generation not only made America great but largely succeeded in making it a force for good.
How did we get here?David Fromkin provides arresting and dramatic answers to the questions we ask ourselves as we approach the new millennium. He maps and illuminates the paths by which humanity came to its current state, giving coherence and meaning to the main turning points along the way by relating them to a vision of things to come. His unconventional approach to narrating universal history is to focus on the relevant past and to single out the eight critical evolutions that brought the world from the Big Bang to the eve of the twenty-first century.He describes how human beings survived by adapting to a world they had not yet begun to make their own, and how they created and developed organized society, religion, and warfare. He emphasizes the transformative forces of art and the written word, and the explosive effects of scientific discoveries. He traces the course of commerce, exploration, the growth of law, and the quest for freedom, and details how their convergence led to the world of today.History's great movements and moments are here: the rise of the first empires in Mesopotamia; the exodus from Pharaoh's Egypt; the coming of Moses, Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad; the fall of the Roman Empire; the rise of China; Vasco da Gama finding the sea road to India that led to unification of the globe under European leadership. Connections are made: the invention of writing, of the alphabet, of the printing press, and of the computer lead to an information revolution that is shaping the world of tomorrow. The industrial, scientific, and technological revolutions are related to the credit revolution that lies behind today's world economy. The eighty-year world war of the twentieth century, which ended only on August 31, 1994, when the last Russian troops left German soil, points the way to a long but perhaps troubled peace in the twenty-first.Where are we now? The Way of the World asserts that the human race has been borne on the waters of a great river--a river of scientific and technological innovation that has been flowing in the Western world for a thousand years, and that now surges forward more strongly than ever. This river highway, it says, has become the way of the world; and because the constitutional and open society that the United States champions is uniquely suited to it, America will be the lucky country of the centuries to come. Fromkin concludes by examining some of the choices that lie ahead for a world still constrained by its past and by human nature but endowed by science with new powers and possibilities. He pictures exciting prospects ahead--if the United States takes the lead, and can develop wisdom on a scale to match its good fortune.
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