This series was guided by the spirit of William Faulkner's saying about the past not being dead—and, in fact, not even being past. In addition to discussing the history of the war, it pays special attention to some of the major concepts, trends, and movements to emerge from it, as well as those that were irrevocably altered by it—such as nationalism, imperialism, collective security, global governance, transnationalism, and great power politics.
Featuring scholars, journalists, and other experts, the series connects the social fractures, political debates, and policy choices that still resonate in the structure of the international system. It ran in 2014, to coincide with the anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, as well as the Carnegie Council Centennial.
The Ottoman Road to War: Mustafa Aksakal on the Ottomans' Fateful Decision
Why did the Ottoman Empire side with Germany in World War I? It was a rational decision, given the circumstances at the time, argues Aksakal. But it brought down the empire and violently reshaped the region's borders at horrifying human cost. Indeed, WWI informs national identities even today.
Mary Dudziak on Civil Liberties During WWI and Beyond
"Just as the nation is perpetually focused on security, we must also be perpetually focused on maintaining constitutional liberty."
July 1914: Sean McMeekin on the Outbreak of World War I
Would Europe have gone to war had Franz Ferdinand survived his visit to Bosnia? What were the blunders and miscalculations on all sides that fateful July 1914? Read historian Sean McMeekin's take.
Cataclysm: David Stevenson on World War I as Political Tragedy
David Stevenson discusses the military and political decisions on both sides that led to World War I; the Eastern, Balkan, and Italian Fronts, which are often overlooked; the role of the colonies for the Allies; and much more.
The Long Shadow: David Reynolds on World War I
David Reynolds discusses the different ways the carnage of World War I is memorialized in Europe and its different long-term effects on Western and Eastern Europe; England, Scotland, and Ireland; and lastly, the United States.
Dance of the Furies: Michael Neiberg on Europe and the Outbreak of World War I
"It is impossible for me to see how a Second World War, a Holocaust, a Cold War, a globally-engaged United States, and decolonization could happen without the First World War. In fact, in my view we can gain a lot of clarity by seeing the two world wars as one war, almost as a second Thirty Years War."
The Lost Promise of Patriotism: Jonathan Hansen on World War I (Part I)
Jonathan Hansen refers to a group of American scholars, public intellectuals, and social reformers—such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Eugene V. Debs, Jane Addams, and Randolph Bourne—as "cosmopolitan patriots." What were their reactions to World War I and how were they different from their peers? To find out, read this fascinating interview.
The Lost Promise of Patriotism: Jonathan Hansen on World War I (Part II)
"What does it mean to be patriotic in a nation founded on a set of putative universal principles and composed primarily of immigrants and their descendants? This is a timeless question that first came to a head in World War I and received renewed attention (though not much debate) in the wake of 9/11."
To End All Wars: Adam Hochschild on World War I
The consequences of World War I are still with us, says Adam Hochschild. Are we in danger of making the same mistakes again? Why were Europeans so eager to go to war? What happened to those who publicly opposed it? Read the answers to these questions and more in this fascinating interview.