Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
A landmark work of narrative history, Paris 1919 is the first full-scale treatment of the Peace Conference in more than twenty-five years. It offers a scintillating view of those dramatic and fateful days when much of the modern world was sketched out, when countries were created—Iraq, Yugoslavia, Israel—whose troubles haunt us still.
Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize • Winner of the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize • Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize
Between January and July 1919, after “the war to end all wars,” men and women from around the world converged on Paris to shape the peace. Center stage, for the first time in history, was an American president, Woodrow Wilson, who with his Fourteen Points seemed to promise to so many people the fulfillment of their dreams. Stern, intransigent, impatient when it came to security concerns and wildly idealistic in his dream of a League of Nations that would resolve all future conflict peacefully, Wilson is only one of the larger-than-life characters who fill the pages of this extraordinary book. David Lloyd George, the gregarious and wily British prime minister, brought Winston Churchill and John Maynard Keynes. Lawrence of Arabia joined the Arab delegation. Ho Chi Minh, a kitchen assistant at the Ritz, submitted a petition for an independent Vietnam.
For six months, Paris was effectively the center of the world as the peacemakers carved up bankrupt empires and created new countries. This book brings to life the personalities, ideals, and prejudices of the men who shaped the settlement. They pushed Russia to the sidelines, alienated China, and dismissed the Arabs. They struggled with the problems of Kosovo, of the Kurds, and of a homeland for the Jews.
The peacemakers, so it has been said, failed dismally; above all they failed to prevent another war. Margaret MacMillan argues that they have unfairly been made the scapegoats for the mistakes of those who came later. She refutes received ideas about the path from Versailles to World War II and debunks the widely accepted notion that reparations imposed on the Germans were in large part responsible for the Second World War.
Praise for Paris 1919
“It’s easy to get into a war, but ending it is a more arduous matter. It was never more so than in 1919, at the Paris Conference. . . . This is an enthralling book: detailed, fair, unfailingly lively. Professor MacMillan has that essential quality of the historian, a narrative gift.” —Allan Massie, The Daily Telegraph (London)
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - nmele - LibraryThing
MacMillan relates in fascinating detail the origins, debates and outcomes of the negotiations to end the first World War. She first offers introductions to the principal negotiators and relates the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - geza.tatrallyay - LibraryThing
A fabulous book. Hard to put down. An important read to understand the Europe of today. Looks at the important treaties after World War I and how the personalities (Wilson, Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Orlando) shaped them. Read full review
Lloyd George and the British Empire Delegation
A new world order
We Are the League of the People
The League of Nations
Czechs and Slovaks
A troubled spring 21 The Council of Four
Japan and Racial Equality
A Dagger Pointed at the Heart of China
setting the middle East alight 25 The Greatest Greek Statesman Since Pericles
the balkans AGain 9 Yugoslavia
the German issue
Punishment and Prevention
Keeping Germany Down
Footing the Bill
Deadlock Over the German Terms
Between East And west 17 Poland Reborn