Choice or Accident? The outbreak of the First World War

Margaret MacMillan, Professor of International History, Oxford University

Co-presented with the Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

100 years after the event there is still no agreement on how or why World War One started. Explanations range from national rivalries to arms races, focus on policies such as alliances and arms races, or seek to assign responsibility to particular powers or individuals. This lecture will ask why the forces tending towards war were stronger than those for peace and whether the war could have been avoided.

Margaret MacMillan

Margaret MacMillan is the Warden of St Antony’s College and a Professor of International History at the University of Oxford. Her books include Women of the Raj (1988, 2007); Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001) for which she was the first woman to win the Samuel Johnson Prize; Nixon in China: Six Days that Changed the World; The Uses and Abuses of History (2008); and Extraordinary Canadians: Stephen Leacock (2009). Her most recent book is The War that Ended Peace.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto, Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Toronto and of St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, and sits on the boards of the Mosaic Institute and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and the editorial boards of International History and First World War Studies. She also sits on the Advisory Board Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation and is a Trustee of the Rhodes Trust. In 2006 Professor MacMillan was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Margaret MacMillan is in Australia as a guest of the 2014 Adelaide Writers’ Week and will also be appearing at the New Zealand Festival Writers Week.

Margaret MacMillan is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Canadian Consulate of Sydney.

Gleebooks will be on site for book sales and Margaret will be signing books after the event.