The author Matthew White chose Gavrilo Princip as the Most Important person of the Twentieth Century because, said White: "Here's a man who single-handedly sets off a chain reaction which ultimately leads to the deaths of 80 million people."
What White is referring to was not a chemical chain reaction. It was a lot of people muddling through choice. As someone who calls himself JImmanis1 has written, "Europe did not implode because of one man's murder." The Great War was not inevitable with Princip's assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. There were bad decisions made by men more powerful than the nineteen-year-old Princip. It would have been more fitting to designate Franz Joseph the Most Important Person in the Twentieth Century. Better yet would be to ignore any such designation.
Copyright © 2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.