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On a summer morning in Sarajevo a hundred years ago a teenage assassin named Gavrilo Princip fired not just the opening shots of the First World War but the starting gun for modern history when he killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand Yet the events Princip triggered were so monumental that his own story has been largely overlooked his role garbled and motivations misrepresented The Trigger puts this right filling out as never before a figure who changed our world and whose legacy still has an impact on all of us today Born a penniless backwoodsman Princip’s life changed when he trekked through Bosnia and Serbia to attend school As he ventured across fault lines of faith nationalism and empire so tightly clustered in the Balkans radicalisation slowly transformed him from a frail farm boy into history’s most influential assassinBy retracing Princip’s journey from his highland birthplace through the mythical valleys of Bosnia to the fortress city of Belgrade and ultimately Sarajevo Tim Butcher illuminates our understanding both of Princip and the places that shaped him Tim uncovers details about Princip that have eluded historians for a century and draws on his own experience as a war reporter in the Balkans in the 1990s to face down ghosts of conflicts past and present The Trigger is a rich and timely work that brings to life both the moment the world first went to war and an extraordinary region with a potent hold over history

10 thoughts on “The Trigger Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War

  1. says:

    The driver's decision to turn into Franz Joseph Street and not continue down the Appel uay as had been decided back at the town hall was a stroke of assassin's luck for Gavrilo Princip When General Potiorek spotted what was happening he shouted at the driver ordering him immediately to stop and reverse back out onto the Appel uay Instead of his target speeding past Princip saw the Archduke Franz Ferdinand slow right in front of him only a few feet away the gallant count so willing to protect the life of his liege on the running board on the other side of the car For the instant it took the driver to find reverse the Archduke was a sitting duck Princip took the Browning pistol in his hand stepped forward from among the crowd on the pavement next to the entrance of the cafe and fired Tim Butcher The Trigger Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to WarEven if you know nothing or practically nothing else about World War I you probably know that it started with the assassination of Austro Hungarian heir Franz Ferdinand in the city of Sarajevo At least that's about as much as I knew when I started my World War I crash course several years ago Exactly why this happened why the murder of an unloved Austrian archduke in a Bosnian city by a Serbian nationalist caused Germany to invade Belgium to get at France in order to defend themselves against Russia is a far complicated storyFranz Ferdinand's death precipitated the so called July Crisis of 1914 a period of diplomatic maneuvering between Austria Hungary Serbia Germany Russia France and Great Britain that ultimately ended with the Guns of August and one of the bloodiest most inexplicable wars in human history There are a lot of books about the July Crisis even so during the centenary commemorations But even the most detailed volumes I've read usually relegate the actual Sarajevo assassination on June 28 1914 to a page or two The assassin himself a nineteen year old Bosnian Serb named Gavrilo Princip is usually treated as little better than a footnote When I came across Tim Butcher's The Trigger Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War it caught my eye for precisely this reason I wanted to read about the man who unwittingly struck the match that set the world aflame the man who is usually given a couple sentences at the start of any World War I history before receding into the dustbin Butcher's account is not a standard biography Rather it is an entry into the genre I call Historical Road Trips a hybrid literary form that combines elements of travelogue memoir and history Well known authors who've contributed to this genre include Sarah Vowell Assassination Vacation and Tony Horowitz Confederates in the Attic I didn't know this when I purchased The Trigger for the reason that 's one click shopping allows me to make impulse buys without undergoing any sort of decision making process When I found out however I wasn't bothered I have a great affinity for Historical Road Trips mainly because I've made so many myself Let me tell you about the time I dragged my wife and six month old daughter to the Battle of Cowpens In July In a Subaru We can all laugh now about how a Park Ranger had to find me and inform me of a cataclysmic diaper blowout But at the timeButcher's style will be uite familiar to anyone who's read Vowell or Horowitz He sets out to follow Princip's path to political murder by literally following his path He begins in the tiny town of Obljaj in present day Bosnia and Herzegovina where Princip was born He meets with Princip's family and engages in a lengthy conversation with them about their illustriousinfamous ancestor Afterwards he sets off on foot with his Bosnian friend Arnie to recreate Princip's overland journey to Sarajevo Along the way Butcher dodges landmines from the Balkan Wars talks to a couple fishermen and eats wild mushrooms Butcher writes in a journalistic style which makes sense since he was a journalist and war correspondent for The Daily Telegraph His prose is engaging and detailed and The Trigger is an effortless read The problem for me is that Butcher doesn't do a great job hunting the assassin For long stretches of the book Princip seems to disappear completely This might be a function of reality Princip is an elusive figure He was unheralded and unknown before his historical moment and he died in prison forgotten in the hurricane of blood and destruction he'd set in motion In other words he didn't leave much of a paper trail Butcher does the best he can He clearly searches out every scrap of information about Princip and extrapolates as much as he can from the surviving documentation He pores for instance over extant school records that show a young Princip first succeeding in school in Sarajevo and later letting his grades slip as he begins his involvement in the Young Bosnia movement Despite this there isn't enough Princip to fill a book so Butcher resorts to telling essentially two parallel stories The first is his pursuit of Princip; the second is Butcher's own experiences as a correspondent during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s Frankly I did not get a lot of mileage from the latter I respect Butcher's work as a war correspondent including the dangers he faced but if I wanted to read all about his experiences I would have sought that out separately It's just filler here and borderline navel gazing There are obviously echoes of the Serbian role in the Great War in the Balkan Wars nearly 80 years later Serbian nationalism and ambition were at work in both But Butcher never tied the two threads together for me in a meaningful way Strangely he espouses sympathy for Princip and his pro Serbian beliefs in 1914 while disdaining the ruthlessness of the Serbs in the 1990s Butcher visits a massacre site from the Balkan Wars while trailing Princip's wispy spirit I liked this book a fair amount but am far from loving it It falls far short of the other Historical Road Trip books I've read Butcher checks all the boxes by visiting the sites sifting through the archives and interviewing people along the way Unfortunately none of it was made memorable The Trigger is far too solemn even given its subject matter Sarah Vowell and Tony Horowitz also tackle grim subjects but they do it with an eye for the absurd the humorous the enlightening I didn't find that here There is for example a set piece in which Butcher goes to Banja Luka to watch the band Franz Ferdinand play a concert Butcher clearly recognized the delicious preposterousness of an English band named for a dead Austrian heir rocking out in a Bosnian town Butcher goes to the show talks to the band andthat's it The set piece fizzles out into nothingLook I'm not here to tell you that World War I historiography needs to be funnier That's not my line In fact I tried out a couple jokes just to be sure Sample Knock knock Who's there? The Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme who? A million dead soldiers It doesn't work on any level Still a hundred years later trying to illuminate the contours of a ghost there is no need to be overly funereal The Trigger really could have used an infusion of wit Especially given the fact that trying to recapture a person's life by actually visiting the landmarks of his life is a uixotic notion At best it is an earnest attempt to capture something ineffable from the past; at worst it's just an excuse to write a book Amidst the extraneous details and long digressions The Trigger has things to teach you about Gavrilo Princip I appreciated that even if I could have learned them in a straightforward manner In the end we don't have a lot of concrete information about the assassin There are the memories of his family the route of his travels his grades from school an interview with a psychiatrist while in prison There is his photograph with his eternally haunted eyes All of this is of interest mainly to a serious World War I buff For others it is enough to know that on June 28 1914 he fired two shots at a moving car killed two people and ended up dying of tuberculosis in prison while the rest of the world tore itself to piecesIt is enough for us to wonder What was he thinking about at the end?

  2. says:

    I wasn’t especially interested in the subject of this book Gavrilo Princip to begin with; I read it because I had been impressed by one of Tim Butcher’s earlier books Blood River an exciting and well written account of a long and dangerous journey through Central Africa Like Blood River The Trigger is a mixture of history travelogue and journalism – a format Butcher does very well It is just as good as Blood River and I ended up being very interested in Princip indeedThe outline of the book is thus In the early 1990s Butcher is a young correspondent in the Balkans covering the conflict for Britain’s Telegraph newspaper In Sarajevo he finds people using a small building as a toilet and is bemused to find that it is the mausoleum of Princip whose assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the city led to the First World War Butcher moves on but does not forget this odd sight and in 2012 he resolves to walk across Bosnia and Serbia in Princip’s footsteps Butcher wants to see if the journey would illuminate the chain of events that had led not only to that war but to the one he covered 80 years later In 1907 the 13 year old Princip walked most of the way from his home in Western Bosnia to Sarajevo to get an education Later as a radicalised political young adult he went to Serbia and there hatched the plot to kill the Archduke; then armed he walked back It is these journeys Butcher wants to recreate He starts by enlisting Arnie his former fixer from Bosnia as a companion Arnie a Bosnian Muslim is now living in London but after some thought he agrees Meanwhile Butcher tries to track down Princip’s birthplace Obljaj This is hard as it is an obscure hamlet deep in what Bosnians call the vukojebina literally “where the wolves fuck” He eventually finds it on an old map in the bowels of the Royal Geographical Society He and Arnie make for Obljaj It’s when they get there that this narrative a little slow to start really takes off The Princip home is a ruin but uite unexpectedly they find the Princip clan still living next door No one can remember Gavrilo who died in prison in 1918 But at least one man remembers his parents in their old age and the folk memories of Princip are strong The next day Butcher and Arnie start a long walk to Sarajevo The memories of the Princips and Butcher’s own diligent research in Sarajevo uncover a great deal new about the assassin His killing of the Archduke is part of history but the man himself locked up at 19 dead at 23 has always been a footnote Butcher brings him very alive He also conjures up a vivid picture of Sarajevo as Princip would have found it in 1907 and it reminds me very much of Aleppo where I lived for several years in the 1990s Moreover Butcher finds that Princip’s story does provide keys to the region’s history and to the conflict of the 1990s One or two themes emerge strongly from the book In Butcher’s view Austria Hungary which had only occupied Bosnia in 1878 was a colonial power there extracting resources – chiefly timber – and giving a little back but not much Princip’s fanaticism was rooted in a hatred of what he saw as an oppressive colonial regime that had kept his people miserably poor He was himself the seventh of nine children; the previous six had all died in infancy Moreover according to Butcher the people Princip saw as his were all the South Slavs not just Serbs He was thus not a Serbian nationalist as such and in Butcher’s view Serbia did not support the assassination Instead Butcher sees him as an anti colonial freedom fighter It is not a universal view of Princip especially in modern Bosnia But Butcher argues the case very well However one of the most interesting perspectives in this book is Arnie’s At the time people outside Yugoslavia blamed the 1990s war on ancient primitive hatreds rather as they spoke of Northern Ireland when I was growing up and see Syria now Arnie doesn’t buy it “Those people who said ‘These people have always hated each other’ were just being lazy” he tells Butcher “In my own life I saw people from different communities work together live together get married even There was nothing inevitable about what happened in the 1990s It was just that a few – the extremists the elite the greedy – saw nationalism as a way to grab what they wanted”Like Blood River this is a thoughtful well written book an absorbing read but also full of insights Butcher’s knack of combining several roles – the historian the travel writer and the journalist – serves him well I look forward to seeing where he does it next Meanwhile The Trigger is excellent and could well be my non fiction read of the year

  3. says:

    Subtitled “The Hunt for Gavrilo Princip; The Assassin who Brought the World to War” this is part biography part history and part travel book Indeed it is written by Tim Butcher who is probably best known for his travel writing and whose interest in Gavrilo Princip was first aroused when he was a young reporter in Serajevo during the Bosnian War in the 1990’s He recalls how he witnessed locals using a stone building as a makeshift lavatory only to discover they were desecrating a memorial to Princip’s assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand Why he wondered were the people of Serajevo so dismissive of a man who fought for their freedom?Many years later the author decided to follow the trail from Princip’s home in a countryside now still dangerous from mines left over from the war to the end of his life During this book the author asks why WWI is still so important and looks at the impact on Princip’s actions on the history of the Bosnians Serbs and Croats in the region He uestions whether the assassination was the spark that ignited the conflict and on his journey looks at the complicated history of the region as well as that of Princip’s himselfThis is a very interesting read; for many different reasons I was fascinated by the story of Gavrilo Princip which was at the heart of this book A young boy – still a teenager – who left a countryside where life still followed an almost medieval pattern A boy who had academic ambitions; who travelled to the city to study and who dropped out in 1911 In fact three of the dropouts that year would become revolutionaries; the education system a breeding ground for radicalism The story of this young man is still relevant today This teenager who fought for the cause of ridding his country of Austo Hungarian rule and who fired the trigger which assassinated both the Archduke and his wife The formative years of his young man’s education has significance as the author highlights that Princip had “the rage of the oppressed” which is sadly still all too relevant in our worldPrincip considered his attack on the Archduke a grand gesture – a “noble act” I was struck by the fact I had read this story from a completely different viewpoint in “The Assassination of the Archduke” by Greg King The Assassination of the Archduke Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World As such it was really interesting to see the story from the side of the assassin himself and I recommend this book for anybody interested in both WWI and in the history of a country which has seen so much conflict and yet retains such diverse sense of identities A very moving book in parts which follows the story of the author and the people he met in the 1990’s as well as events so long ago At times I found the meandering pace of the book a little slow but generally this was a very interesting read

  4. says:

    A concise compelling accessible book that is part history part travelogue part memoir and wholly unmissableA fascinating investigation into the life and times of Gavrilo Princip the Serbian student who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 and which was the catalyst for World War OneThis concise accessible compelling book is part history part travelogue and part memoir which explains the history of the Balkans and why despite his momentous action Princip is now all but airbrushed out of the history of the regionTim Butcher also weaves in some of his own memories as a young reporter sent by the Daily Telegraph to cover the Bosnian War during which he chanced upon Princip’s tomb being used as a toilet Not only did I come away from this book with an understanding of the complex recent history of the region but also how the role of certain players can be celebrated or ignored according to the prevailing narrative in which the history is writtenPrincip’s primary motivation was to rid his land of the occupying Habsburgs who like the Turks before them presided over an almost feudal system that perpetuated the grinding poverty of his own family and which was shared by most from the three major communities in Bosnia the Orthodox Serbs the mainly Catholic Croats and the Muslim BosniaksTo better understand how Princip came to assassinate Franz Ferdinand Tim Butcher makes the same journey Princip made a walk from vukojebina Princip's desolate rural home to Sarajevo negotiating minefields left over the Bosnian War of the 1990sIf you're interested in World War One twentieth century European history travel writing or finding out about the area previously known as Yugoslavia then I feel sure you’ll find lots to enjoy and appreciate in The Trigger Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War” It’s taut well written very atmospheric engaging provocative and as I said at the outset fascinatingOne of the most extraordinary facts I discovered was the numberplate of Archduke Ferdinand’s car was A111118 A numberplate that had no resonance at the time of the assassination but which also happens to be the date of Armistice Day the moment when after four bloody years World War One ended or the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918In the last year or so I’ve read 12 books about World War One and can confidently state that this one is up there with the very best55

  5. says:

    An excellent multi layered historytraveloguepersonal story tracing the journey of Gavrilo Princip from remote Bosnian village to initiator of World War 1Tim Butcher brings alive the story of Gavrilo Princip by physically following the young Bosnian Serb's journey from his remote village to the streets of Sarajevo The author paints a fascinating story as he visits the remote hamlet where Princip grew up to discover still living descendants takes on epic treks through the now land mine infested mountains that Princip knew as well as discovering new insights into this infamous young man Whilst combining travelogue with history not necessarily a novel approach Butcher brings a wholly personal aspect as he intertwines Princip’s history with the Balkan Wars of the 1990s The author was a journalist present in the region during those wars and some of his personal experiences make uncomfortable reading but necessary reading I’d highly recommend this for anyone interested to the start of World War 1 20th Century European history or anyone who enjoys stories of travel to the lesser known parts of Europe

  6. says:

    Born in a village on the remote western edge of Bosnia Princip had undergone a process of radicalization at the schools he attended across the region a journey that culminated in the assassination in Sarajevo Eventually the author Tim Butcher gets around to telling us the story of Gavril Princip and the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on June 28th 1914 in Sarajevo This event was the seminal trigger that set in motion World War I just a month later To be clear there was no manhunt for Gavril Princip A crowd of people saw the nineteen year old while standing on the sidewalk walk up and shoot the royal couple at close range while they sat exposed in their open air touring car It only took two bullets and they each died within a few minutes of one another Ferdinand was struck in an artery in the neck and Sophie was struck in the stomach where an artery was severed Astonishingly only two hours earlier a grenade had been tossed by one of Princip’s conspirators towards the royal car The grenade missed its target and instead damaged the car behind Acting in a most cavalier manner the Archduke did not significantly alter the rest of the day’s activities in Sarajevo Sure enough Princip was waiting for the couple’s return procession when he opened fireSeconds after the assassination Princip was tackled and savagely beaten by the crowd Only intervention by the police saved Princip’s life He was thrown into prison and in short order the other six conspirators were also rounded up Princip was too young to be legally executed so he was convicted and languished in prison for four years He died of tuberculosis just months before the end of the war The author Tim Butcher is a journalist who covered the Bosnian conflict in the 1990’s He decides to write about Princip’s origin story and trace Princip’s historical path from his hometown Obljaj to Sarajevo and in and out of Serbia and then back to Sarajevo where the assassination took place Sarajevo was part of the Austro Hungarian empire but neighboring Serbia was independent Princip acuired weapons and training in Belgrade SerbiaYes the writing in this book is good although it is of a journalistic style that does not always lend itself to recording the historical events of a hundred years earlier The story was also informative and generally entertaining The main criticism that I have of the book is that the author does not clearly separate his own Bosnian war experiences from Princip’s story This is what he means by hunting down the killer that is to do so in a historical and travelogue sense I think if the author had put less of his own experiences into the book and separated his own story into italics it would have prevented the constant dovetailing of the two stories Four stars I am glad I read it In addition to Princip’s story I learned a lot about Bosnia It was at times a frustrating read for the reason mentioned above and the title is a bit misleading

  7. says:

    Really not for me I felt deceived by the title which suggests an examination of the life of Gavrilo Princip who assassinated Arch duke Ferdinand leading to the outbreak of the First World War I also expected some discussion of Serbian nationalism There is some of that in this book but in the main it is a travelogue of the author in the former Yugoslavia which I was not that interested in Much of this was focused on personal experiences of the authorI have read Hearts Grown Brutal Sagas of Sarajevo which is superior journalism to what is in this book

  8. says:

    Scintillating biography of the man who changed the world By firing that bullet into the jugular of the Habsburg heir on that sunny morning in Sarajevo in June 1914 Gavrilo Princip not only killed off the old world he also unwittingly helped to usher in the modern age the toxic 20th century with its legacy of revolution fascism genocide and totalitarian terror Tim Butcher is the perfect medium for the telling of this extraordinary tale Having spent years in the bloody cauldron of the Bosnian war he was first drawn into the story by witnessing a scene in war torn Sarajevo Ordinary people walking into a cemetery chapel to take a shit Turns out it was Princip's grave From there Butcher launches into a beautiful expansive meditation on the meaning of the First World War which in turn serves as the launchpad for a real life journey he undertakes in the summer of 2012 retracing Princip's steps from the village of Obljaj the assassin's birthplace in the wild mountains of Herzegovina all the way to that fateful street corner along the Miljacka river in the centre of modern Sarajevo Throughout he interweaves Princip's personal history with the wider history of the Balkans with his own memories of the Bosnian war and with the account of his pilgrimage across the region nearly 20 years later Bosnia today is a country still wracked by the after spasms of genocide and civil war just as the world that Princip threw out of kilter never really recovered its euilibrium either The most powerful passage of all is Butcher's account of the fall of Srebrenica and the infamous massacre of 8000 Bosnian Muslims all under the noses of hapless UN peacekeepers He joins thousands of Bosnians on the annual Peace March that commemorates and reenacts in reverse the death march of Srebrenicans who made a desperate dash for safety in July 1995 but all too often ended up signing their own death warrants This chapter A Mystical Journey is doubtless the book's emotional high point but so clean and powerful and polished is Butcher's prose that the entire book reads like a dream For anyone even remotely interested in the history of the modern world this book is essential reading It is amazing to think that so neglected so distorted is the true story of Gavrilo Princip his name as much a cipher as that of his victim the Archduke Franz Ferdinand that even after a hundred years Butcher is able to unearth original material on him from archives long forgotten unknown to all previous chroniclers For me personally WW1 has long held a magnetic fascination and Sarajevo is one of those mythical cities like Atlantis and Timbuktu whose very name is a spell an invocation vivid in the imagination than it is perhaps in reality On the eve of my first visit to the Balkans inspired by people as varied as Princip and the Archduke Christiane Amanpour and Rebecca West and even the ski pair of Torvill and Dean on the eve of this glorious much awaited much anticipated journey to the magic tragic city of Sarajevo I could not have chosen to read a better book

  9. says:

    Find this and other reviews at addiction to the final chapters of Hapsburg rule in Austria is well known and thoroughly documented so it should come as no surprise that I jumped when my father gifted me a copy of The Trigger Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War by Tim Butcher The assassination of Franz Ferdinand is easily the most recognizable moment of the era I study but until now my understanding of that story has been entirely one sided and I relished the opportunity to look at the events of June 28 1914 from a new and largely enigmatic angleHistorically speaking the nature of Princip’s crime and its effect on European politics has long overshadowed his personal history and due to the turbulent politics of the region there are now remarkably few resources available to those who wish to understand both his person and the movement he represented Recognizing the gaps in the historic record journalist Tim Butcher set out to discover what he could by following Princip’s footsteps from the remote village of Obljaj to his prison at Terezin The Trigger is the end result of that journey and stands as a chronicle of the author’s experiences and the insight they affordedThe heart of the text is of course Princip and the details of his life but Butcher’s reflections on the contemporary politics and culture of the Balkans brings a rare degree of relevance to the history he documents Most authors simply relay facts but Butcher’s approach brings context to the assassination and challenges his audience to reconsider their understanding of it while drawing unmistakable parallels between past and present Butcher's work shatters stereotypes about the early twentieth century but it also illustrates how a single event can ripple across decades and resonate on various levels according to time place and perceptionTo make a long story short I greatly enjoyed the time I spent reading The Trigger It's an illuminating volume in and of itself but I want to note that it also makes a fascinating companion to The Assassination of the Archduke Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World by Greg King and Sue Woolmans The books are not affiliated in any way but when paired the two titles humanize both sides of a key moment in twentieth century history and in many ways redefine the spark that lit the Powderkeg of Europe

  10. says:

    Franz Ferdinand no not the rock band was the Archduke of the Austro Hungarians next in line for the throne when he was assassinated in July of 1914 in SarajevoGavrilo Princip was the 19yo Bosnian Serb who murdered him In his view the best way to bring solidarity amongst all Southern Slavs they being Bosnian Serbs Bosnian Croats and Bosnian MuslimsThe assassination of Ferdinand was the trigger that got the dominoes falling The Austro Hungarians used the assassination to declare war on Serbia the Russians moved to help the Serbians Germany took it's chance to invade France causing the British to declare war on the Germans A mere two months after Princip pulled the trigger the world awakened to the declaration of Wor ld War 1The author Tim Butcher is a British Journalist who can view the story from a rather uniue view Most of us are aware of the blood thirsty atrocities that occurred during the Bosnian war of the early to mid 1990's This was a three sided war at times with all three Bosnian factions fighting each other but when it was over the real truth came out Mass graves of thousands of civilians were uncovered making the slaughters in this war second only in comparison to the ethnic cleansing undertaken by the Germans in WW2 Tim Butcher covered this war as a journalist from the war zones He stayed with UN peacekeepers spoke to civilians and soldiers and saw first hand the demolition and carnageThe Trigger is Tim's uncovering of the truths that led to Princip's assassination of Ferdinand He walks for days the trails that were covered by a 13yo boy as he leaves his family home to seek education in a better schooling system Discovers the influences on P rincip's young life and continues to follow the route that led him to be standing on a street corner in July 1914 with a pistol in his handThe Bosnian history is laid bare in this book It's battles with Austro Hungary to become its own country its fights against the Ottomans the formation and then collapse of Yugoslavia the communist rule of Tito the in fighting and wars between the Serbs Croats and MuslimsWhat Butcher does so well is tell two separate stories at once two different times 80 years apart While following in Princip's footsteps he discusses the Europe and Bosnia as known in the early 20th century All of the relevant details that led to the first world warYet he also draws on his first hand accounts of the Bosnian war of the 1990's describing in detail the devastation to man and country The racism and the affiliations that led to the atrocities and the first ever time that the UN were forced to lead military strikes The failures of command and one of the most amazing escapes you will ever read about when 13000 people fled under the cover of darkness from the city of Srebrenica as the Serbian forces cut off the town and then advancedPrincip was arrested as he shot and killed the Archduke and he was never a free man again dying from tuberculosis in prison Tim Butcher's book leaves one big uestion Has anything changed from the days when a young man took such desperate measures to bring solidarity to his people?Gavrilo Princip the man who was the TRIGGER of the first world war