Month Of Madness

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Episodes

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01Sarajevo2014062320140624

01Sarajevo2014062320140624

Christopher Clark on the impact of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

01Sarajevo20140623

01Sarajevo20140623

Professor Christopher Clark unpicks the complex sequence of events during the July Crisis, leading to outbreak of the First World War, from the perspective of the key centres of decision-making - in Berlin, Paris, St Petersburg and London.

He analyses how these countries reacted to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914 and casts fresh light on the causes of the First World War, offering a new interpretation of the catastrophe.

This short-run crisis was the most complex event in modern history - yet Professor Clark argues that, far from being a slow sequence of events in which bungling leaders walked blindly to war, it was a fast-paced crisis that contains lessons and parallels for our own world. There was no 'slithering over the brink' as Lloyd George later claimed, but rather a sequence of clear-eyed steps. The July Crisis of 1914 was a 'Month of Madness', not because the men who made it were themselves mad, but because its outcome was completely catastrophic and completely unnecessary.

In the first programme, Professor Clark travels to Sarajevo to tell the story of extraordinary chances that led to the assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek on 28th June 1914, conveying a sharp sense of the dramatic sequence of events that day and how they were shaped by the geography of the city.

The repercussions of the assassinations - comparable to the effect of 9/11 - exemplify the transformative power of a terrorist event. But the murders were not a pretext for a war decided in advance - nor did they make conflict inevitable.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald

A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

01Sarajevo2014062320140624

Christopher Clark on the impact of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

Professor Christopher Clark unpicks the complex sequence of events during the July Crisis, leading to outbreak of the First World War, from the perspective of the key centres of decision-making - in Berlin, Paris, St Petersburg and London.

He analyses how these countries reacted to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914 and casts fresh light on the causes of the First World War, offering a new interpretation of the catastrophe.

This short-run crisis was the most complex event in modern history - yet Professor Clark argues that, far from being a slow sequence of events in which bungling leaders walked blindly to war, it was a fast-paced crisis that contains lessons and parallels for our own world. There was no 'slithering over the brink' as Lloyd George later claimed, but rather a sequence of clear-eyed steps. The July Crisis of 1914 was a 'Month of Madness', not because the men who made it were themselves mad, but because its outcome was completely catastrophic and completely unnecessary.

In the first programme, Professor Clark travels to Sarajevo to tell the story of extraordinary chances that led to the assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek on 28th June 1914, conveying a sharp sense of the dramatic sequence of events that day and how they were shaped by the geography of the city.

The repercussions of the assassinations - comparable to the effect of 9/11 - exemplify the transformative power of a terrorist event. But the murders were not a pretext for a war decided in advance - nor did they make conflict inevitable.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald

A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.

02Vienna2014062420140625

02Vienna2014062420140625

Christopher Clark explores how Vienna reacted to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

02Vienna20140624

02Vienna20140624

Professor Christopher Clark unpicks the complex sequence of events during the July Crisis, leading to outbreak of the First World War, from the perspective of the key centres of decision-making.

In 1914, Vienna was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ruled by the ancient Hapsburg dynasty.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the throne and, after his assassination in Sarajevo on the 28th June 1914, the Austro-Hungarian decision-makers met in Vienna to consider what course of action to take against Serbia.

In this programme, Professor Christopher Clark explores the mind-set inside the Austrian administration during the tense days of July 1914, where he says, a 'militant group think' seized hold of the decision-makers, bent on settling their old scores with Serbia.

Producer: Melissa FitzGerald

A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.