MT Week 3_An identity of Opinion - An Identity of Opinion...

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An Identity of Opinion: Historians and July 1914 Author(s): Samuel R. Williamson Jr. and Ernest R. May Source: The Journal of Modern History , Vol. 79, No. 2 (June 2007), pp. 335-387 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: Accessed: 11-10-2016 22:46 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at The University of Chicago Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Modern History This content downloaded from 158.143.192.143 on Tue, 11 Oct 2016 22:46:34 UTC All use subject to
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The Journal of Modern History 79 (June 2007): 335–387 2007 by The University of Chicago. 0022-2801/2007/7902-0004$10.00 All rights reserved. Review Article An Identity of Opinion: Historians and July 1914* Samuel R. Williamson Jr. and Ernest R. May The University of the South and Harvard University In the first issue of the Journal of Modern History, published in 1929, managing editor Bernadotte E. Schmitt contributed an article on “The Origins of the War.” In it he reviewed four books, including one by Sidney B. Fay and one by Pierre Renouvin. At the end, Schmitt observed, “The failure of four fair-minded men, using the same materials, to reach a reasonable harmony of views or even a con- sistent statement of facts, is somewhat melancholy, though perhaps hardly sur- prising. But the fact is eloquent testimony to the complexity of the problem, and only through discussions by men of many nations will it ever be possible to arrive at anything approaching an identity of opinion.” 1 A year later Schmitt’s own, often-overlooked book appeared. It blamed Ger- many for the war, and the German Foreign Ministry tried to discredit it. 2 For the next three decades Schmitt and the Journal published lengthy reviews of books on the origins of the Great War. In 1944, despairing of a second edition of his own work, Schmitt published a summary of his own revised views. 3 In the years since, the Journal has printed numerous articles, book reviews, and review essays on aspects of the July crisis. This extended review article continues the Journal ’s tradition of periodically analyzing the continuing debate about the origins of the First World War. Like Schmitt, we focus on the summer of 1914, asking what has become consensus, what remains contentious, and what remains problematic. Necessarily, we refer frequently to landmark works such as those of Fay, Schmitt, Luigi Albertini, and * This essay benefited immeasurably from Williamson’s participation in the autumn of 2004 in two international conferences that examined July 1914, the first held at Glasgow University on
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