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The excellent making of the Twentieth Century series (Macmillan/St Martins) has perhaps the best known synthesis of pre-WWI international relations. The relevant volumes dealing with France and Russia are as follows and should be in virtually any university library. _France and the Origins of the First World War_ (Making of the Twentieth Century S.) ~J.F.V. Keiger _Russia and the Origins of the First World War_ (Making of the Twentieth Century S.) ~D.C.B. Lieven You should be able to pick them up relatively cheaply second hand on the web. The only caveat for these volumes is that they may be showing their age a bit particularly the one on Russia as their may have been some revalations from the Russian archives since they were published. Robert McNamara Independent Scholar