The Greatest Catastrophe the World Has Seen’

The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan

1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War by Charles Emmerson

The Russian Origins of the First World War by Sean McMeekin

July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings

Rumsfeld: Why We Live in His Ruins

The Unknown Known a film directed by Errol Morris

Known and Unknown: A Memoir by Donald Rumsfeld

By His Own Rules: The Ambitions, Successes, and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld by Bradley Graham

Margaret Drabble: In Defiance of Time

The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble

The Needle’s Eye by Margaret Drabble

The Garrick Year by Margaret Drabble

The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble

The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws by Margaret Drabble

The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble

The Millstone by Margaret Drabble


John Ashbery is the author of several books of poetry, including Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award. His first collection, Some Trees (1956), was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series. He has also published art criticism, plays, and a novel. From 1990 until 2008 Ashbery was the Charles P. Stevenson, Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. Ashbery’s new collection of poems, Breezeway, will be ­published in May 2015.

April Bernard’s most recent books are Romanticism, a ­collection of poems, and Miss Fuller, a novel. (October 2014)

Elaine Blair is a regular contributor to The New York Review. (June 2015)

David Cole is the Honorable George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author of several books, including The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable (2009), Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror (with Jules Lobel, 2007) and Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism (2003).

Mark Danner is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Journalism at the University of California at ­Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard. His forthcoming book is Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War. His writing and other work can be found at

R. J. W. Evans is a Fellow of Oriel College and Regius Professor of 
History Emeritus at Oxford. His books include Austria, Hungary, and the Habsburgs: Central Europe, c. 1683–1867 (September 2015)

Mark Ford’s Selected Poems and a volume of essays, This Dialogue of One, were published last year. He teaches in the English Department at University College London. (May 2015)