Road to Sarajevo Review Essay

Submitted By mblackwe
Words: 816
Pages: 4

to Sarajevo
Matt Blackwell
Dr. Weitz
World War One History
October 4, 2012

Review of One Morning in Sarajevo

It has been said that hindsight is 20/20, and without question many people would argue that if several Serbian nationalists knew what would stem from their assassination attempt in June of 1914, they might have done things a little bit differently. David James Smith's book, One Morning in Sarajevo, gives a very detailed account of the events leading up to and after the fateful day of June 28th 1914. This was the day that Serbian nationalists who felt they were being oppressed by the Austrian Government decided to take their frustrations out on the heir to the throne, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. June 28th would soon become the catalyst for war throughout the world in what would become the Great War. Serbia certainly had reasons to be upset with Austria. As Smith notes, Austria essentially picked on Serbia when ever they were provided the chance. The issue that many Serbians were upset about was which country should have influence on the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This area was a province overtaken by the Hapsburg family, the ruling family of the Austrian Empire. Smith captures the idea of how Serbia thinks they should have been the rightful owners of the province. Smith also brings in the group that lives in infamy and gets credit for being a spark for World War I. The Black Hand is the group that eventually is successful in assassinating the archduke. Smith goes in to detail, stating backgrounds and reasons for why each Serbian Nationalist wants blood. Ironically the Archduke Franz Ferdinand gives much more respect towards the Serbian people, the ruler at the the time, Franz Joseph, actually is very bitter towards the Serbs. With Franz Joseph having been ruler for sometime, it seems as if the Serbs would actually look forward to a different ruler assuming the throne. It is evident though after June of 1914 that the Black Hand did not speak for all of Serbia. Many Serbians show their resentment at the conspirators acts. Smith gives good details as to how the young men trained for their act. He mentions different men and generals from within the Serbian Military who aide their training as well. Obviously due to the book's title, he recounts all of the events of the infamous day. Smith shows how it was actually a miracle the assassination actually happens. The group completely fouled it up numerous times during the actual planned attack and if not for pure ignorance would have never gotten the chance to finish the plan. Gavrilo Princip is the youngster, almost twenty years of age, who fired the fateful shot. Smith tells of Princip's journey to firing the shot very well, showing that the assassination essentially fell into his lap due to terrible planning on the motorcade's part and one horrible turn by the motorcade. For the remainder of the historical monograph Smith uses historical records and accounts to tell of the scenes during the trials of the