The seminal event of the 20th century, the origins of the First World War have always been difficult to establish and have aroused deep controversy. Annika Mombauer tracks the impassioned debates as they developed at critical points through the twentieth century. The book focuses on the controversy itself, rather than the specific events leading up to the war. Emotive and emotional from the very beginning of the conflict, the debate and the passions aroused in response to such issues as the `war-guilt paragraph' of the treaty of Versailles, are set in the context of the times in which they were proposed. Similarly, the argument has been fuelled by concerns over the sacrifices that were made and the casualities that were suffered. Were they really justified?