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The Great War's Ominous Echoes.

More than 10 million soldiers and many civilians died in the First World War, 1914-1918. An assassination, incidental in the century's overall history, triggered the massive war spurred by national rivalries and reckless arms race. "The approaching centenary should make us reflect anew on our vulnerability to human error, sudden catastrophes, and sheer accident," writes author Margaret MacMillan in an opinion essay for the New York Times. She points out that populations were unsettled then: "Globalization -- which we tend to think of as a modern phenomenon, created by the spread of international businesses and investment, the growth of the Internet, and the widespread migration of peoples -- was also characteristic of that era." Globalization, then and today, stirs a range of instincts and reactions, from cooperation and trade to parochialism, resentment and war. Avoiding war requires great leadership that avoids hubris, overlooking petty rivalries and unfortunate blunders, to build stable international order. - YaleGlobal

Fears over globalization, national rivalries, arms races, hubris led to huge overreaction to an assassination and the First World War that left millions dead

Margaret MacMillan

The New York Times, 30 December 2013

Margaret MacMillan is warden of St. Antony's College, Oxford, and the author, most recently, of "The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914." This article is adapted from The Brookings Essay, a series published by the Brookings Institution.

Source:The New York Times

Rights:[c] 2013 The New York Times Company

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Author:MacMillan, Margaret
Publication:YaleGlobal Online
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 30, 2013
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