Review of The Forgotten Monarch: Franz Joseph and the Outbreak of the First World War by Matthieu Santerre

When the preparations for the commemoration of the centenary of WW1 began I started exploring my family history in that era. I wrote a series of blogposts about family members who'd served in the armed forces and also the impact of the war on the lives of several other ancestors.

My Writing a Family History: World War One Stories blog is dormant at the moment but I still follow several WW1 blogs including The July Crisis: 100 Years On, 1914-2014. This blog introduced me to The Forgotten Monarch: Franz Joseph and the Outbreak of the First World War by Matthieu Santerre which I was able to borrow as part of my Kindle Unlimited subscription
The author, Matthieu Santerre, submitted the text of The Forgotten Monarch: Franz Joseph and the Outbreak of the First World War for his PhD disertation and has subsequently published it as an ebook.
This is an interesting aspect of self-publishing and I've seen many examples of academic texts being made available to the general reading public this way.
The Forgotten Monarch: Franz Joseph and the Outbreak of the First World War was fascinating to read partly because of the academic conventions followed in the book and also because the book explores an aspect of the causes of the First World War which was skated over in all the history courses I've followed.
The book examines the role of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Joseph, in the days and weeks immediately following the assassination at Sarajevo.
In forensic and meticulously referenced detail the author explains the background to Franz Joseph's decisions and charts the inevitability of the consequences. It's well worth reading and you can check it out here.
For anyone seeking an accessible and concise overview of the causes and events of WW1 Rupert Colley's World War One: History in an Hour does exactly what it says. Having studied WW1 for 'O' level and 'A' level and also at teacher training college, I should be able to re-call all the salient points but increased grey hairs seem to have affected some of the memory cells and I found this quick-read overview very useful.
After finishing The Forgotten Monarch I skipped through WW1 in an hour and then turned to Matthieu Santerre's second book (also available on Kindle Unlimited) World War I: How Germany Blundered into War.
This book explores the same territory as The Forgotten Monarch but from the perspective of Kaiser Wilhelm and his German advisers. It's another fascinating study: well referenced and very readable
At the moment The July Crisis: 100 Years On, 1914-2014 Blog is unavailable but both books are still available in the Amazon Kindle Store.