I'm not sure whether the rankings made at the year's end are always fair. Many just seem to state the well-known trends of fashion and public approval, some serve the image of the people who decide what's praise-worthy. I do agree, though, that The Sleepwalkers How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark is one of the best books of 2013 as The New York Times declares this weekend. A good friend gave Clark's book to me a few weeks ago, and I devoured it in one go. It is well-written, profound and gives in a single volume a comprehensive survey of the events leading up to World War I. Christopher Clark shows that the participants stumbled like “sleepwalkers” into that tragedy. “The outbreak of war,” Clark writes, “is not an Agatha Christie drama at the end of which we will discover the culprit standing over a corpse.”
I do realize that within three days this is the second book I praise. Blame it on the upcoming holidays when we all will have more than the usual time to read.