Sir Max Hastings on the lessons of World War One

Max HastingsLast night I attended a brilliant Armistice Day lecture at the Royal Institution, presented by military historian Sir Max Hastings.

Sir Max focused his lecture on his most recent and critically acclaimed book, ‘Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War in 1914’ (William Collins, 2013). He explains that whilst World War One was a vast tragedy, it was vital to the freedom of Europe that the Kaiser’s Germany should be defeated. He also argues passionately that both Austria and Germany must accept principal blame for the outbreak.

Superbly delivered, Sir Max offered both a blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts to challenge entrenched opinion, and provide a masterly account of the events of the Great War.

The lecture was in aid of the St. Gregory Foundation, which works in Russia and the former Soviet Union to tackle the social problems facing children, teenagers, parents and carers.

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