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“The War That Ended Peace tells the story of how intelligent, well-meaning leaders guided their nations into catastrophe. These epic events, brilliantly described by one of our era’s most talented historians, warn of the dangers that arise when we fail to anticipate the consequences of our actions. This is one of the finest books I have ever read on the causes of World War I.”

Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state

The 2018 Reith Lectures with Margaret MacMillan: "The Mark of Cain"

Professor Margaret MacMillan will go on tour recording her Reith Lectures - entitled The Mark of Cain - this June, beginning in London and concluding in Canada.


The five lectures exploring the tangled history of war and society and our complicated feelings towards it and towards those who fight, will broadcast on Radio 4 and the World Service weekly from Tuesday 26 June at 9am.


Professor MacMillan’s first lecture will be recorded in London at the BBC’s Radio Theatre on Monday 4 June, she will then go on to the University of York [7 June], The Sursock Museum, Beirut [20 June], Stormont, Belfast [22 June] and will deliver her final lecture at The Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Canada on Wednesday 27 June.


The lectures will be delivered to an audience at each venue. This year’s lectures will be presented by journalist and broadcaster, Anita Anand, after Sue Lawley announced last month that she would be stepping down as presenter and chair of the lectures after 17 years.


Anita Anand says: “It is a great honour to be stepping into Sue’s shoes. The Reith Lectures embody all that is best about the BBC - bringing the brightest ideas from the greatest minds to the largest audiences all around the world. I can’t wait to get started. I know I will learn a lot.“


Across her five lectures Professor Margaret MacMillan will address the theme of war and humanity. She will ask why groups, whether nations or religions or gangs, get into wars and why individual men and women fight. read more





Tickets are now being released on a first come first served basis.


Admission to this recording is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that as not everyone who asks for tickets uses them, to make sure we have a full house we send out more tickets than there are places. We do our best to get the numbers right, but unfortunately we occasionally have to disappoint people so please arrive early.

London

Monday, June 4th, 2018 | from 6:00 pm

Radio Theatre, BBC Broadcasting House

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York

Thursday, June 7th, 2018 | from 6:00 pm

The Ron Cooke Hub, Campus East, University of York

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Beirut

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Beirut, Lebanon

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Belfast

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 | from 6:00 pm

Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, Northern Ireland

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Ottawa

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Ottawa, Canadian War Museum, Canada



History's People

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In History’s People internationally acclaimed historian Margaret MacMillan gives her own personal selection of figures of the past, women and men, some famous and some little-known, who stand out for her. Some have changed the course of history and even directed the currents of their times. Others are memorable for being risk-takers, adventurers, or observers. She looks at the concept of leadership through Bismarck and the unification of Germany; William Lyon MacKenzie King and the preservation of the Canadian Federation; Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the bringing of a unified United States into the Second World War. She also notes how leaders can make huge and often destructive mistakes, as in the cases of Hitler, Stalin, and Thatcher. Richard Nixon and Samuel de Champlain are examples of daring risk-takers who stubbornly went their own ways, often in defiance of their own societies. Then there are the dreamers, explorers, and adventurers, individuals like Fanny Parkes and Elizabeth Simcoe who manage to defy or ignore the constraints of their own societies. Finally, there are the observers, such as Babur, the first Mughal emperor of India, and Victor Klemperer, a Holocaust survivor, who kept the notes and diaries that bring the past to life.


History’s People is about the important and complex relationship between biography and history, individuals and their times.

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The War That Ended Peace | Paperback

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An excerpt:


The Great War still casts its shadows both physically and in our imaginations. Tons of ordnance are still buried in the battlefields and every so often someone - an unlucky farmer ploughing in Belgium, perhaps - is added to the casualty lists. Every spring after the ground has unfrozen, units of Belgian and French armies have to gather up the unexploded shells that have been heaved up. In our memories too the Great War, thanks in part to an extraordinary outpouring of memoirs and novels and paintings, but also because so many of us have family connections to it, remain that dark and dreadful chapter in our history.


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The War That Ended Peace | Hardcover

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The First World War followed a period of sustained peace in Europe during which people talked with confidence of prosperity, progress, and hope. But in 1914, Europe walked into a catastrophic conflict that killed millions, bled its economies dry, shook empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermined Europe’s dominance of the world. It was a war that could have been avoided up to the last moment—so why did it happen?


Beginning in the early nineteenth century and ending with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, award-winning historian Margaret Macmillan uncovers the huge political and technological changes, national decisions, and just as impor­tant, the small moments of human muddle and weakness that led Europe from peace to disaster. This masterful exploration of how Europe chose its path towards war will change and enrich how we see this defining moment in history.


WHERE TO BUY: HARDCOVER

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