Cloth $29.95 ISBN: 9781908323668 Published September 2014 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe

The Hidden Perspective

The Military Conversations 1906-1914

David Owen

David Owen

Distributed for Haus Publishing

262 pages | 1 map | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $29.95 ISBN: 9781908323668 Published September 2014 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe
Within weeks of taking office in December 1905, British Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Foreign Secretary Edward Grey agreed to allow the General Staff of the Army to secretly enter detailed talks with their French counterparts about sending a British expeditionary force to France in the event of a German attack. Neither Parliament nor the rest of the Cabinet were informed. In fact, Campbell-Bannerman’s successor as prime minister, H. H. Asquith, wasn’t aware of the talks for the first three years he held office.

The Hidden Perspective takes readers back to the tense years leading up to World War I, using contemporary historical documents to re-create the stormy Cabinet meetings in the fall of 1911 when the details of the military conversations were finally revealed. David Owen, himself a former foreign secretary, shows how the foreign office’s underlying belief in Britain’s moral obligation to send troops to the Continent influenced political decision-making and helped create the impression that war was inevitable. Had Britain’s diplomatic and naval strategy been handled more skillfully during these years, Owen argues, the carnage of World War I might have been prevented altogether.
Henry Kissinger
“David Owen’s book should be essential reading for contemporary statesmen.”
Sir Harold Evans, author of The American Century
“Is there anything new to say about the catastrophe of World War One? Yes, and David Owen does it in The Hidden Perspective. It’s a cogent analysis—by a former Foreign Secretary—of how Britain’s secret military dealings with France helped catapult the country, and Europe, into an avoidable war.”
Wall Street Journal
“[A] well-researched, well-written and thought-provoking book, which does indeed force us to reappraise the causes of the Great War, or at least Britain’s decision to get involved in it.”
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