90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Marking 100 Years Since The Start Of WWI

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

A hundred years ago today, the world took a massive turn.  The Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, and World War I was on.  Within days, everyone was at war.  Decades of peace exploded into trenches and poison gas, tanks and bombs.  The world was literally remade.  Millions and millions dead.  Borders redrawn.  A century on we still live with the consequences – and some feel global chaos in the air again.  An old, familiar order teetering.  This hour On Point:  the onslaught of World War I, and lessons for an uneasy world right now.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Margaret MacMillan, historian and professor of international history at the University of Oxford. Author of many books, including “The War That Ended Peace” and “Paris 1919,” among others.

Sean McMeekin, history professor at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. Author of “July 1914: Countdown to War” and “The Russian Origins of the First World War.”

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian: Margaret MacMillan: ‘Just don’t ask me who started the first world war’ — “But why, when it was clear by the spring of 1915 that the war on the western front was hopelessly bogged down, didn’t they stop? ‘When that many people have died and you’ve asked your publics to make these sacrifices, how can you say: ‘Whoops, sorry, we made a bit of a mistake here.””

MarketWatch: 5 things we should have learned from World War I – “This is not some distant and dull historical anecdote. The first World War cost tens of millions of lives. It shattered the old world in Europe and paved the way for Stalin, Hitler, and, in 1939, the second World War. Historians today often call 1914-45 a single crisis spanning 31 years. When it was over, somewhere approaching 100 million people were dead. The wars united modern science and the horrors of the Middle Ages. We are still feeling the effects today.”

Boston Globe: What does World War I mean? A century of answers — “When World War I began 100 years ago, on July 28, 1914, every nation fighting thought it knew why. England, France, and Russia blamed Germany and Austria-Hungary, while the latter blamed the former. Socialists blamed imperialists, pacifists blamed warmongering leaders, and Americans blamed the Old World for succumbing to its usual barbarism.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

Mar 30, 2015
Sweet Briar College, an all-women's liberal arts college in Virginia, announced in early 2015 that it would unexpectedly close its doors at the end of the school year. (Courtesy Sweet Brian College)

Fareed Zakaria weighs the value of a liberal arts education in our technology-driven time.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 27, 2015
Members of  a November Project 'tribe' pause during a November 2014 workout. (Brogan Graham / Instagram)

Spring training. From easy-access yoga to outdoor exercise meet-ups, exercise plans you’ll want to do.

 
Mar 27, 2015
Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

The co-pilot and the plane in the Alps? Ted Cruz announces 2016 bid. Heinz buys Kraft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 27, 2015
Friday, Mar 27, 2015

More on the incessant email debate, plus some goats living their best lives and the sad allure of Manhattan’s shuttered Pommes Frites.

More »
Comment
 
Mobile Payments Offer Convenience If You Keep Your Email Safe
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Thinking about moving your wallet to your phone? You can! And maybe you should? But TechCrunch senior writer Josh Constine has a few things to tell you before you do.

More »
1 Comment
 
Using Technology To Get Your Kids Outside
Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The latest and greatest — using apps to make natural exploration more fun for your kids.

More »
Comment