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"The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914'' by Margaret MacMillan: I am only halfway through the book and I don't want to put it down, but occasionally I must if I am to earn a living. On the other hand, when I finish it, I will regret having done so because what I will really want to do is read it again for the first time."

Paul Martin, former prime minister of Canada - Bloomberg


Writers Trust of Canada: Shaughnessy Cohen Prize, Political Writing Finalist

Video: The Six Months that Changed the World

MacMillan talks about her book Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World

Video: Margaret MacMillan, The War that Ended Peace

MacMillan discusses her new book The War that Ended Peace with DPhil student Katherine Brooks

Video: Margaret MacMillan, Nixon in China

MacMillan discusses her book Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World

Video: Margaret MacMillan, The Uses and Abuses of History

MacMillan joins Allan Gregg to talk about her book The Uses and Abuses of History


MacMillan tells Steve Paikin why Europe's major powers made decisions that resulted in The Great War.

Video: Margaret MacMillan, CSPAN, The War that Ended Peace

MacMillan talks about her book The War that Ended Peace


In her own words Professor MacMillan explains her body of work and academic research. (Podcast)


In the 2015 CBC Massey Lectures, renowned historian Margaret MacMillan explores some of the great people - good and bad, dreamers, explorers and adventurers - who have shaped their times and ours. One historian’s view of the people of the past who have intrigued, horrified or engaged her.

History's People Book Cover

Some of these great figures have changed the course of history and even directed the currents of our time. Others are memorable for being risk-takers, adventurers, or observers. Margaret MacMillan 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.

Leaders can also 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.

Upcoming Events

How to: Academy

October 10, 2016 | 6:45 PM - 8:00 PM

London, England

Richard Evans in conversation with Margaret MacMillan

The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815 - 1914

In this major event, Richard J Evans, author of a groundbreaking new study of the period (The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914), is joined by another historian of international acclaim, Margaret MacMillan, to discuss Europe’s dramatic development in 19th and early 20th centuries, and the foundations laid in this period for the creation of our own society and its problems.


Keele World Affairs

November 03, 2016

Keele University

Keele, Stratfordshire, England

The Uses and Abuses of History: 21st Century Lessons from WW1

Margaret MacMillan herself writes: 'My research interests have taken me on a considerable journey, from the history of the British Empire to 20th century international relations. I have eclectic interests which include imperial history, social history, the history of war and society, and international history.... If there are common themes in my research and writing they are first international relations, as encounters between peoples as much as between governments and leaders, and second the attempt to find the balance between the great forces in history, whether social, economic, or ideological, and the individuals who, at key moments, can play a part in shaping events'.


The Guardian

"Don't ask me who started the war or I'll burst into tears," she says when we meet on the eve of her departure for Canada. I put that question aside, and instead ask what she has made so far of the commemoration. "Some of it has been good," she says. "Historians have been debating it at quite a high level. When the politicians get involved they have their own agendas, and the debate becomes caught up with what they think of Britain today.


The Globe and Mail

The War That Ended Peace is one of five books nominated this year for the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, which will be awarded April 2. The Globe and Mail will feature interviews with each nominated author during the week of March 17. Read an interview with Paul Wells on figuring out what Prime Minister Stephen Harper is thinking or Charles Montgomery on how to make cities that make people happy.


The New York Times

How could a Europe that had been so prosperous and so largely peaceful for so many years, that was basking in a glorious period of trade and technological advance, that was flourishing within a long-established global order, have been thrown — in the course of a month — into the bloodiest conflict the world had then ever seen?

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