In this landmark work of narrative history, MacMillan brings extraordinary personalities to life. The great-granddaughter of Lloyd George, she makes use of his personal papers and gives a scintillating view of those dramatic and fateful days when much of the modern world was sketched out, when countries--Iraq, Yugoslavia, Israel--were founded ...Read MoreIn this landmark work of narrative history, MacMillan brings extraordinary personalities to life. The great-granddaughter of Lloyd George, she makes use of his personal papers and gives a scintillating view of those dramatic and fateful days when much of the modern world was sketched out, when countries--Iraq, Yugoslavia, Israel--were founded whose troubles haunt the world still. 16-page photo insert.Read Less
This has got to be one of the most important history books for our time. It was recommended to me by a friend. If you want to get a glimpse of the geo-policical climate during the lead up and after the Great War, from the view point of all European nations and peoples involved, I think this is the book for you. Thank you Margaret MacMillian for sharing your research and a job well done.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-07-22 A joke circulating in Paris early in 1919 held that the peacemaking Council of Four, representing Britain, France, the U.S. and Italy, was busy preparing a "just and lasting war." Six months of parleying concluded on June 28 with Germany's coerced agreement to a treaty no Allied statesman had fully read, according to MacMillan, a history professor at the University of Toronto, in this vivid account. Although President Wilson had insisted on a League of Nations, even his own Senate would vote the league down and refuse the treaty. As a rush to make expedient settlements replaced initial negotiating inertia, appeals by many nationalities for Wilsonian self-determination would be overwhelmed by rhetoric justifying national avarice. The Italians, who hadn't won a battle, and the French, who'd been saved from catastrophe, were the greediest, says MacMillan; the Japanese plucked Pacific islands that had been German and a colony in China known for German beer. The austere and unlikable Wilson got nothing; returning home, he suffered a debilitating stroke. The council's other members horse-traded for spoils, as did Greece, Poland and the new Yugoslavia. There was, Wilson declared, "disgust with the old order of things," but in most decisions the old order in fact prevailed, and corrosive problems, like Bolshevism, were shelved. Hitler would blame Versailles for more ills than it created, but the signatories often could not enforce their writ. MacMillan's lucid prose brings her participants to colorful and quotable life, and the grand sweep of her narrative encompasses all the continents the peacemakers vainly carved up. 16 pages of photos, maps. (On sale Oct. 29) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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