The Washington Times
The Washington Times

Historian's 43-episode series plots the road to World War One

Matt Pickles

Did you miss the tenth episode of Margaret MacMillan's radio series about the road to World War One yesterday? Well don't worry because there are 33 more to come.

From 27 June to 8 August Margaret MacMillan, professor of international history at Oxford University and Warden of St Antony’s College, is presenting ‘Day By Day’, a series of 43 four-minute programmes which will be aired daily at 4.55pm on BBC Radio 4.

Each episode explores sources which relate the events of that day, one hundred years earlier, beginning with Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s visit to Bosnia.

Professor MacMillan has also recently brought out a book on the same subject, called The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914.

'When I started to write the book, I was trying to think of a way to look at a subject which has been gone over so much. There's always a danger, when looking at the causes of the First World War, that we can see all the things that were leading up towards the war in 1914,' Professor MacMillan said.

'Because we can see them, we tend to think that the war was bound to happen. The more I think about it, the more I think that it wasn't bound to happen.'

Professor MacMillan added: 'Both my book and the BBC radio series are intended to help people understand the world of 1914 from its political and social structures to the ideas and values of Europeans then. We should not assume that the war was inevitable but ask rather why did the peace not last.'

You can listen to the series so far here.