A fairly staid historical analysis by a man known for creating controversy--his The Cold War and Its Origins, 1917-1960 was the first to blame the Cold War on the West. This book, however, is intended as a summary for students and general readers of all that has been written on the Great War. Fleming begins with the turn of the century ""twilight of aristocracy""--an age when ""nationalism was the strongest force in the world."" His panorama includes turmoil in Europe, Asia and America and the book is notable for its broad scope. In the one fairly controversial conclusion, Fleming sees Britain as a reluctant entrant into the war. Germany, expectably, is blamed for the ""outbreak"" and Fleming somewhat gratuitously goes on to point out Allied vengeance led toward the Second World War. As the title suggests, the book is more concerned with movements and diplomatic events than with military episodes (there is little on the conduct of the war itself). It is organized chronologically and could be useful as a general text along with more specific and more lively readings. Like most participants, with the perspective of fifty years, Fleming sees the war as the beginning of the end: ""When civilization suddenly collapsed in the summer of 1914""--from China to Ireland.