These columns by David Igantius and Harold Meyerson yesterday endorsed the theory of an inexorable, unintended slide toward war in 1914. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that this significantly underestimates Germany’s drive to war. Here is Michael Lind on the topic from his forthcoming book, The American Way of Strategy:
For half a century after 1914, most historians agreed that the great powers of Europe tragically had stumbled into an avoidable war. However, research in Imperial German archives in the 1960s revealed the truth: the Kaiserreich had deliberately launched a preventative war against Russia and its ally France, out of fear that growing Russian military power would soon make German dreams of European domination impossible to realize.