Le 28 juin 1914, dans Sarajevo écrasée de soleil, un certain Gavrilo Princip se réfugie à l'ombre d'un auvent pour guetter le cortège de l'archiduc François-Ferdinand... Cinq semaines plus tard, le monde plonge dans une guerre qui entraînera la chute de trois empires et emportera des millions d'hommes. Comment l'Europe, apparemment prospère et rationnelle, était-elle devenue si vulnérable à l'impact d'un seul attentat perpétré à sa périphérie ? Dans cette fresque magistrale, Christopher Clark montre que rien n'était écrit d'avance : l'Europe portait en elle les germes d'autres avenirs, sans doute moins terribles. Mais de crise en crise, les personnages qui la gouvernaient, hantés par leurs songes, marchèrent vers le danger comme des somnambules.
« La monarchie prussienne n'est pas un pays doté d'une armée, mais une armée dotée d'un pays ». Des marches de Brandebourg à sa disparition au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l'histoire de l'ascension et de la chute d'un Etat qui a fait l'Allemagne par la diplomatie, mais aussi par « le sang et le fer » chers à Bismarck.
L'ouvrage à sa sortie en Angleterre et aux U.S.A. (2006) puis en France a été unanimement salué par la critique et a reçu plusieurs prix.
An intellectual tour de force: the major essays of the esteemed author of international bestseller The Sleepwalkersbr>br> Christopher Clark''s The Sleepwalkers has become one of the most influential history books of our century: a remarkable rethinking of the origins of the First World War, which has had a huge impact on how we see both the past and the present.br>br> For the many readers who found the narrative voice, craftsmanship and originality of Clark''s writing so compelling, Prisoners of Time will be a book filled with surprises and enjoyment. Bringing together many of Clark''s major essays, Prisoners of Time raises a host of questions about how we think about the past, and both the value and pitfalls of history as a discipline.br>br> The book includes brilliant writing on German subjects: from assessments of Kaiser Wilhelm and Bismarck to the painful story of General von Blaskowitz, a traditional Prussian military man who accommodated himself to the horrors of the Third Reich. There is a fascinating essay on attempts to convert Prussian Jews to Christianity, and insights into everything from Brexit to the significance of battles. Perhaps the most important piece in the book is ''The Dream of Nebuchadnezzar'', a virtuoso meditation on the nature of political power down the ages, which will become essential reading for anyone drawn to the meaning of history.>
The pacy, sensitive and formidably argued history of the causes of the First World War, from acclaimed historian and author Christopher Clarkbr>br>FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014br>SUNDAY TIMES and INDEPENDENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2012br>Winner of the Los Angeles Times History Book Prize 2014br>br>The moments that it took Gavrilo Princip to step forward to the stalled car and shoot dead Franz Ferdinand and his wife were perhaps the most fateful of the modern era. An act of terrorism of staggering efficiency, it fulfilled its every aim: it would liberate Bosnia from Habsburg rule and it created a powerful new Serbia, but it also brought down four great empires, killed millions of men and destroyed a civilization. What made a seemingly prosperous and complacent Europe so vulnerable to the impact of this assassination? br>br>In The Sleepwalkers Christopher Clark retells the story of the outbreak of the First World War and its causes. Above all, it shows how the failure to understand the seriousness of the chaotic, near genocidal fighting in the Balkans would drag Europe into catastrophe.br>br>Reviews:br>br>''Formidable ... one of the most impressive and stimulating studies of the period ever published'' Max Hastings, Sunday Timesbr>br>''Easily the best book ever written on the subject ... A work of rare beauty that combines meticulous research with sensitive analysis and elegant prose. The enormous weight of its quality inspires amazement and awe ... Academics should take note: Good history can still be a good story'' Washington Postbr>br>''A lovingly researched work of the highest scholarship. It is hard to believe we will ever see a better narrative of what was perhaps the biggest collective blunder in the history of international relations'' Niall Fergusonbr>br>''[Reading The Sleepwalkers], it is as if a light had been turned on a half-darkened stage of shadowy characters cursing among themselves without reason ... [Clark] demolishes the standard view ... The brilliance of Clark''s far-reaching history is that we are able to discern how the past was genuinely prologue ... In conception, steely scholarship and piercing insights, his book is a masterpiece'' Harold Evans, New York Times Book Reviewbr>br>''Impeccably researched, provocatively argued and elegantly written ... a model of scholarship'' Sunday Times Books of the Yearbr>br>''Superb ... effectively consigns the old historical consensus to the bin ... It''s not often that one has the privilege of reading a book that reforges our understanding of one of the seminal events of world history'' Mail Onlinebr>br>''A monumental new volume ... Revelatory, even revolutionary ... Clark has done a masterful job explaining the inexplicable'' Boston Globebr>br>''Superb ... One of the great mysteries of history is how Europe''s great powers could have stumbled into World War I ... This is the single best book I have read on this important topic'' Fareed Zakariabr>br>''A meticulously researched, superbly organized, and handsomely written account Military Historybr>Clark is a masterly historian ... His account vividly reconstructs key decision points while deftly sketching the context driving them ... A magisterial work'' Wall Street Journalbr>br>''This compelling examination of the causes of World War I deserves to become the new standard one-volume account of that contentious subject'' Foreign Affairsbr>br>''A brilliant contribution'' Times Higher Educationbr>br>''Clark is fully alive to the challenges of the subject ... He provides vivid portraits of leading figures ... [He] also gives a rich sense of what contemporaries believed was at stake in the crises leading up to the war'' Irish Timesbr>br>''In recent decades, many analysts had tended to put most blame for the disaster [of the First World War] on Germany. Clark strongly renews an older interpretation which sees the statesmen of many countries as blundering blindly together into war'' Stephen Howe, Independent Books of the Yearbr>br>About the author:br>br>Christopher Clark is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catharine''s College. He is the author of The Politics of Conversion, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Iron Kingdom. Widely praised around the world, Iron Kingdom became a major bestseller. He has been awarded the Officer''s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.>
Of the "Great Powers" that dominated Europe from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, Prussia is the only one to have vanished. This book presents the history of Prussia.
Christopher Clark is the Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge. He was knighted in 2015. He is the author of The Politics of Conversion, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Iron Kingdom, The Sleepwalkers and Time and Power and is currently writing a history of the revolutions of 1848.>
One of The New York Times Book Review 's 10 Best Books of the Year Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History) The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark's riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I. Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself, but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict. Clark traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts between the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade, and examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks. Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers is a dramatic and authoritative chronicle of Europe's descent into a war that tore the world apart.
De toutes les grandes puissances qui ont dominé l'europe du xviiie au xxe siècle, la prusse est la seule à avoir été rayée de la carte.
Pourtant, sa place dans la mémoire des peuples reste considérable. pour le meilleur : ils lui doivent " l'invention " de la recherche moderne en histoire ; son système éducatif et son etat-providence ont été plus ou moins copiés partout. pour le pire : un militarisme expansionniste, soutenu par une machine de guerre industrielle et symbolisé par l'" officier prussien ", celui que churchill appelait le " claqueur de talons aux idées aussi raides que la nuque " et dont bismarck est pour nous la caricature.
Dans un livre qui a fait date et a été retenu au nombre des meilleurs ouvrages 2006 en grande-bretagne et aux etats-unis, christopher clark retrace la gloire d'une nation qui a fait de sa faiblesse le moteur de son ascension et la chute d'une dynastie puis d'un etat jusqu'à la " déprussification " ordonnée en 1947.