On a summer morning in Sarajevo almost a hundred years ago, a teenager took a pistol out of his pocket and fired not just the opening rounds of the First World War but the starting gun for modern history. By killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Gavrilo Princip started a cycle of events that would leave 15 million dead from fighting between 1914 and 1918 and that proved fatal for empires and a way of ruling that had held for centuries.
The Trigger tells the story of a young man who changed the world forever. It focuses on the drama of the incident itself by following Princip's journey. By retracing his steps from the feudal frontier village of his birth, through the mountains of the northern Balkans to the great plain city of Belgrade, and ultimately to Sarajevo, Tim Butcher illuminates our understanding of Princip and makes discoveries about him that have eluded historians for a hundred years. Traveling through the Balkans on Princip's trail, and drawing on his own experiences there as a war reporter during the 1990s, Butcher unravels this complex part of the world and its conflicts, and shows how the events that were sparked that day in June 1914 still have influence today. Published for the centenary of the assassination, The Trigger is a rich and timely work, part travelogue, part reportage, and part history.
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"Narrator Gerard Doyle performs this work as if he has an intimate knowledge of its content, leaving little doubt that he and the author are of like mind. Almost a hundred years after the infamous assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, British author Tim Butcher recounts his journey across modern-day Bosnia and Serbia on the trail of the triggerman, Gavrilo Princip, who fired the shot that started WWI. Doyle presents the many interesting facts the author discovers in his travels. He has lengthy conversations with Princip's relatives and discovers new writings about the events before and after the shooting. Doyle gives each interviewee a unique voice, which adds to the authenticity of the work. Listeners will be interested to hear that Princip was shocked that his actions started the chain reaction that would bring the world into a grim, deadly conflict. M.S. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"