The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War (Anglais) CD – 12 juin 2014
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
"Superb... Highly readable but profoundly researched" (Ben Macintyre The Times, Books of the Year)
"A triumph… A marvellously absorbing book on the nature of one man’s political grievance and its terrible aftermath" (Ian Thomson Observer Books of the Year)
"The most imaginative and singular book on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War to date... This is expeditionary journalism at its best – a historical inquest radiated through the mind and experience of an outstanding reporter" (Robert Fox Evening Standard)
"A masterpiece of historical empathy and evocation... This book is a tour de force" (Christopher Clark Guardian) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
Présentation de l'éditeur
A hundred years later, Tim Butcher undertakes an extraordinary journey to uncover the story of this unknown boy who changed our world forever. By retracing Princip’s journey from his highland birthplace, through the mythical valleys of Bosnia to the fortress city of Belgrade and ultimately Sarajevo, he illuminates our understanding both of Princip and the places that shaped him while uncovering details about Princip which have eluded historians for a century. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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Détails sur le produit
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Tim Butcher is the ideal chronicler of this search to learn more about Gavrilo Princip, because he was heavily involved in one of the recent after-effects of Princip's shots: he was an embedded reporter during the fighting that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, when Serbs, Croats, and Muslims struggled for conquest and survival in Bosnia, Princip's home territory. Thus this book is really three parallel journeys: Princip's own life story being one, then the tortured history of Bosnia as the second, and then finally Butcher's own memories of the terrible things he saw in the 1990s and his revisitation of them over twenty years later as the third.
Of the three Princip's own is the briefest, since his life was both short and obscure for the greater part of it. Butcher did an incredible job of tracking down living relations, old homes, the few photos ever taken of him, and even ancient school reports for Princip. Butcher followed Princip's literal trail, travelling the same roads and paths the future assassin took as he left his home village for Sarajevo, then Belgrade, and then back to Sarajevo for that fatal rendezvous with the Archduke. Princip's trail led through areas which Butcher already knew well from his experience covering the war, and at times the book almost becomes a macabre travelogue in which we are led from minefields to massacre sites to bombing ruins. On a more positive note, we also learn a lot about human resilience, because nearly everywhere Butcher went in pursuit of Princip we see rebuilt churches and mosques, reviving towns and cities, and a populace still scarred by conflict but determined to survive and prosper.
Peopling the pages of The Trigger are many colorful characters, including not just Princip and his fellow assassins like Trifko Grabez, Nedjelko Cabrinovic, Danilo Ilic, and Mehmet Mehmetbasic (plus a few others here and there) but also of the extraordinary people of today's Bosnia, many of whom,such as Mile and Arnie, went to great trouble and some peril to assist Butcher on his quest. This is also a story of many foreigners, including Franz Ferdinand and Sophie as well as the colorful diplomat/spy Sir Fitzroy Maclean, whose activities affected Bosnia.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Trigger and came away from it with a deeper understanding not just of the events of June 28, 1914 but also of many other dark times in the torturous tale of twentieth century Bosnia.
What it is not is about Gavrilo Princip and even less about the murder he committed.
Well, to be more precise it is marginally about both: they are the pretext for the book to be written, but neither is the real subject of the book.
The book is a curious mix of travel book, war memories of a correspondent in the Bosnia war, very much a "walk-in-the-woods-and-meet-the-local-peasantry" book and an interesting description of Bosniacs, some Serbians too, and a glanced over history of events that led to the assassination.
Yet the description of the events surrounding it and the actual murder have all the excitement of a cold pizza to borrow a sentence I came across' once and loved.
Not to recommend the book, would be unfair. The writer's experiences and knowledge of the environment, both anthropological and historical, deserve a read.
But the main subject and, above all, the title is a great disappointment.
What does all this have to do with Gavrilo Princip in 1914? I'm not quite sure. But probably 60% or 70% of the book's discussion is about the 1992 war, leaving only the balance devoted to the supposed subject of the book, Princip. I would have preferred that those percentages have been reversed, with the majority of the book devoted to Princip and his times, and less on the modern atrocity, which I heard plenty about from television at that time, along with umpteen other atrocities that have occurred since then.
Also, the author starts the book with a lengthy discussion own his own (not Princip's!) childhood. He even introduces us to some of his family - his uncle or somebody who died in the First World War. I get it that lots of people were affected by the war, but I don't care to read a whole chapter about the author's family and childhood. Again, what does this have to do with the supposed subject of the book, Gavrilo Princip?
One last gripe: the book lacks maps. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but personally I've never trekked the Balkans. The author continuously chatters on about this and that mountain, village and goat trail, but I have no idea where these places are. Why not include a few maps? Ditto for photos, especially color ones on the Kindle. I know enough about Bosnia to know it is stunningly picturesque. Since the author walked the whole area, he missed a big opportunity if he didn't take some beautiful photos that would have showed me how exotic the place is, rather than just telling me.
All that said, I rated the book pretty high because it's well written and it's an interesting read - not so much about the history of Princip, but because of its step by step walk into that weird and potentially treacherous world called the Balkans.
I would give it a 3.75 but they don't have that, so I gave it a 4.