BN.com Gift Guide

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

( 34 )

Overview

National Bestseller

New York Times Editors’ Choice

Winner of the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize

Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize

Silver Medalist for the Arthur Ross Book Award of the Council on Foreign Relations

Finalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award

For six months in 1919, after the end of “the war to end...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$13.88
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$20.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (118) from $1.99   
  • New (16) from $7.25   
  • Used (102) from $1.99   
Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price

Overview

National Bestseller

New York Times Editors’ Choice

Winner of the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize

Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize

Silver Medalist for the Arthur Ross Book Award of the Council on Foreign Relations

Finalist for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award

For six months in 1919, after the end of “the war to end all wars,” the Big Three—President Woodrow Wilson, British prime minister David Lloyd George, and French premier Georges Clemenceau—met in Paris to shape a lasting peace. In this landmark work of narrative history, Margaret MacMillan gives a dramatic and intimate view of those fateful days, which saw new political entities—Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Palestine, among them—born out of the ruins of bankrupt empires, and the borders of the modern world redrawn.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The "war to end all wars" ended with a conference that helped spawn conflicts that persist to this day. The 1919 Versailles peacemakers created Iraq, Palestine, and Yugoslavia. They debated Kosovo, Kurdish independence, Islamic aspirations, women's rights, and the threat of communism. Margaret MacMillan's lively, detailed, sometimes mind-boggling narrative of the Paris Peace Conference follows the tangled negotiations to end World War I.
From the Publisher
“The history of the 1919 Paris peace talks following World War I is a blueprint of the political and social upheavals bedeviling the planet now. . . . A wealth of colorful detail and a concentration on the strange characters many of these statesmen were keep [MacMillan’s] narrative lively.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“MacMillan’s book reminds us of the main lesson learned at such a high cost in Paris in 1919: Peace is not something that can be imposed at the conference table. It can grow only from the hearts of people.”
—Los Angeles Times

“Beautifully written, full of judgment and wisdom, Paris 1919 is a pleasure to read and vibrates with the passions of the early twentieth century and of ours.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

“MacMillan is a superb writer who can bring history to life.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“For anyone interested in knowing how historic mistakes can morph into later historic problems, this brilliant book is a must-read.”
—Chicago Tribune

Publishers Weekly
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.
Library Journal
On his trip to China in February 1972, President Richard Nixon exclaimed in a toast to his hosts that his visit, the first such trip by an American President, was "the week that changed the world." However, Nixon, who considered the opening of China his greatest achievement, didn't bask in his glory for long because Watergate would soon put him on the defensive for the remainder of his presidency. MacMillan (history, Univ. of Toronto; Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World) presents a lively narrative of the people, diplomacy, and pomp of this memorable visit, which was orchestrated as much by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and Premier Zhou En-Lai as it was by Nixon and Mao. Although the visit did not resolve the major issue for the People's Republic (reunification of Taiwan with mainland China) and for the United States (terminating the Vietnam War), Nixon's visit ended decades of Chinese diplomatic isolation from most of the world and began an important Cold War-era dialog between the two nations. The author is especially good at providing historical background on China and showing how the trip's aftermath reverberated among such American allies as Britain, Taiwan, Australia, and Japan and within its Cold War nemesis, the Soviet Union. Recommended for all public and academic collections.
—Karl Helicher
Kirkus Reviews
From Canadian historian MacMillan (Women of the Raj, not reviewed), a lively and thoughtful examination of the conference that ended the war to end all wars. After more than four years of carnage on a scale the world had never before seen, WWI ended with an exhausted Germany asking the exhausted Allies for an armistice based on American President Woodrow Wilson's idealistic formula for a just peace. The resulting Paris Peace Conference of 1919 aimed at redrawing the map of a Europe in which the Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires lay ruined, and rearranging a world in which new nations were struggling to emerge from those moribund colonial empires. Diverse characters came to Paris, including British Arabist T.E. Lawrence, Greek patriot Eleutherios Venizelos, Poland's Roman Dmowski, and Japan's Prince Saionji, but MacMillan (History/Univ. of Toronto) focuses on the complex relationships among the three disparate personalities who dominated the Conference: Wilson, French premier Georges Clemenceau, and British prime minister David Lloyd George (the author's great-grandfather). Bringing them vividly to life, MacMillan reviews the conference's considerable failures and accomplishments. In hindsight, the punitive disarmament and reparation terms imposed upon Germany and the accommodation of Japanese claims to Pacific territory can be seen as setting the stage for the rise of those nations' militarism. The creation of colonial mandates in the Mideast and betrayal of Arab nationalists who had fought for the Allied cause led to tensions that plague the world today. However, MacMillan disputes that the Paris arrangements led directly to WWII; decisions made afterward, sheargues, were more significant. The peacemakers made mistakes, she concedes, but "could have done much worse." Among the Conference's real achievements were the fashioning of seven European countries and Turkey out of the detritus of failed empires, the development of an International Labor Organization, and the creation of the League of Nations, which presaged the rise of the United Nations. Absorbing, balanced, and insightful narrative of a seminal event in modern history.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375760525
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/9/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 64,017
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret MacMillan received her Ph.D. from Oxford University and is provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto. Her previous books include Women of the Raj and Canada and NATO. Published as Peacemakers in England, Paris 1919 was a bestseller chosen by Roy Jenkins as his favorite book of the year. It won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the PEN Hessell Tiltman Prize, and the Duff Cooper Prize and was a finalist for the Westminster Medal in Military Literature. MacMillan, the great-granddaughter of David Lloyd George, lives in Toronto.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Woodrow Wilson Comes to Europe

On december 4, 1918, the George Washington sailed out of New York with the American delegation to the Peace Conference on board. Guns fired salutes, crowds along the waterfront cheered, tugboats hooted and Army planes and dirigibles circled overhead. Robert Lansing, the American secretary of state, released carrier pigeons with messages to his relatives about his deep hope for a lasting peace. The ship, a former German passenger liner, slid out past the Statue of Liberty to the Atlantic, where an escort of destroyers and battleships stood by to accompany it and its cargo of heavy expectations to Europe.

On board were the best available experts, combed out of the universities and the government; crates of reference materials and special studies; the French and Italian ambassadors to the United States; and Woodrow Wilson. No other American president had ever gone to Europe while in office. His opponents accused him of breaking the Constitution; even his supporters felt he might be unwise. Would he lose his great moral authority by getting down to the hurly-burly of negotiations? Wilson's own view was clear: the making of the peace was as important as the winning of the war. He owed it to the peoples of Europe, who were crying out for a better world. He owed it to the American servicemen. "It is now my duty," he told a pensive Congress just before he left, "to play my full part in making good what they gave their life's blood to obtain." A British diplomat was more cynical; Wilson, he said, was drawn to Paris "as a debutante is entranced by the prospect of her first ball."

Wilson expected, he wrote to his great friend Edward House, who was already in Europe, that he would stay only to arrange the main outlines of the peace settlements. It was not likely that he would remain for the formal Peace Conference with the enemy. He was wrong. The preliminary conference turned, without anyone's intending it, into the final one, and Wilson stayed for most of the crucial six months between January and June 1919. The question of whether or not he should have gone to Paris, which exercised so many of his contemporaries, now seems unimportant. From Franklin Roosevelt at Yalta to Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton at Camp David, American presidents have sat down to draw borders and hammer out peace agreements. Wilson had set the conditions for the armistices which ended the Great War. Why should he not make the peace as well?

Although he had not started out in 1912 as a foreign policy president, circumstances and his own progressive political principles had drawn him outward. Like many of his compatriots, he had come to see the Great War as a struggle between the forces of democracy, however imperfectly represented by Britain and France, and those of reaction and militarism, represented all too well by Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany's sack of Belgium, its unrestricted submarine warfare and its audacity in attempting to entice Mexico into waging war on the United States had pushed Wilson and American public opinion toward the Allies. When Russia had a democratic revolution in February 1917, one of the last reservations that the Allies included an autocracy vanished. Although he had campaigned in 1916 on a platform of keeping the country neutral, Wilson brought the United States into the war in April 1917. He was convinced that he was doing the right thing. This was important to the son of a Presbyterian minister, who shared his father's deep religious conviction, if not his calling.

Wilson was born in Virginia in 1856, just before the Civil War. Although he remained a Southerner in some ways all his life‹in his insistence on honor and his paternalistic attitudes toward women and blacks he also accepted the war's outcome. Abraham Lincoln was one of his great heroes, along with Edmund Burke and William Gladstone. The young Wilson was at once highly idealistic and intensely ambitious. After four very happy years at Princeton and an unhappy stint as a lawyer, he found his first career in teaching and writing. By 1890 he was back at Princeton, a star member of the faculty. In 1902 he became its president, supported virtually unanimously by the trustees, faculty and students.

In the next eight years Wilson transformed Princeton from a sleepy college for gentlemen into a great university. He reworked the curriculum, raised significant amounts of money and brought into the faculty the brightest and the best young men from across the country. By 1910, he was a national figure and the Democratic party in New Jersey, under the control of conservative bosses, invited him to run for governor. Wilson agreed, but insisted on running on a progressive platform of controlling big business and extending democracy. He swept the state and by 1911 "Wilson for President" clubs were springing up. He spoke for the dispossessed, the disenfranchised and all those who had been left behind by the rapid economic growth of the late nineteenth century. In 1912, at a long and hard-fought convention, Wilson got the Democratic nomination for president. That November, with the Republicans split by Teddy Roosevelt's decision to run as a progressive against William Howard Taft, Wilson was elected. In 1916, he was reelected, with an even greater share of the popular vote.

Wilson's career was a series of triumphs, but there were darker moments, both personal and political, fits of depression and sudden and baffling illnesses. Moreover, he had left behind him a trail of enemies, many of them former friends. "An ingrate and a liar," said a Democratic boss in New Jersey in a toast. Wilson never forgave those who disagreed with him. "He is a good hater," said his press officer and devoted admirer Ray Stannard Baker. He was also stubborn. As House said, with admiration: "Whenever a question is presented he keeps an absolutely open mind and welcomes all suggestion or advice which will lead to a correct decision. But he is receptive only during the period that he is weighing the question and preparing to make his decision. Once the decision is made it is final and there is an absolute end to all advice and suggestion. There is no moving him after that." What was admirable to some was a dangerous egotism to others. The French ambassador in Washington saw "a man who, had he lived a couple of centuries ago, would have been the greatest tyrant in the world, because he does not seem to have the slightest conception that he can ever be wrong."

This side of Wilson's character was in evidence when he chose his fellow commissioners‹or plenipotentiaries, as the chief delegates were known‹to the Peace Conference. He was himself one. House, "my alter ego," as he was fond of saying, was another. Reluctantly he selected Lansing, his secretary of state, as a third, mainly because it would have been awkward to leave him behind. Where Wilson had once rather admired Lansing's vast store of knowledge, his meticulous legal mind and his apparent readiness to take a back seat, by 1919 that early liking had turned to irritation and contempt. Lansing, it turned out, did have views, often strong ones which contradicted the president's. "He has," Wilson complained to House, who noted it down with delight, "no imagination, no constructive ability, and but little real ability of any kind." The fourth plenipotentiary, General Tasker Bliss, was already in France as the American military representative on the Supreme War Council. A thoughtful and intelligent man who loved to lie in bed with a hip flask reading Thucydides in the original Greek, he was also, many of the junior members of the American delegation believed, well past his prime. Since Wilson was to speak to him on only five occasions during the Peace Conference, perhaps that did not matter.

The president's final selection, Henry White, was a charming, affable retired diplomat, the high point of whose career had been well before the war. Mrs. Wilson was to find him useful in Paris on questions of etiquette.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Note on Place-names
Introduction
Pt. 1 Getting Ready for Peace
1 Woodrow Wilson Comes to Europe 3
2 First Impressions 17
3 Paris 26
4 Lloyd George and the British Empire Delegation 36
Pt. 2 A New World Order
5 We Are the League of the People 53
6 Russia 63
7 The League of Nations 83
8 Mandates 98
Pt. 3 The Balkans Again
9 Yugoslavia 109
10 Rumania 125
11 Bulgaria 136
12 Midwinter Break 143
Pt. 4 The German Issue
13 Punishment and Prevention 157
14 Keeping Germany Down 166
15 Footing the Bill 180
16 Deadlock Over the German Terms 194
Pt. 5 Between East and West
17 Poland Reborn 207
18 Czechs and Slovaks 229
19 Austria 243
20 Hungary 257
Pt. 6 A Troubled Spring
21 The Council of Four 273
22 Italy Leaves 279
23 Japan and Racial Equality 306
24 A Dagger Pointed at the Heart of China 322
Pt. 7 Setting the Middle East Alight
25 The Greatest Greek Statesman Since Pericles 347
26 The End of the Ottomans 366
27 Arab Independence 381
28 Palestine 410
29 Ataturk and the Breaking of Sevres 427
Pt. 8 Finishing Up
30 The Hall of Mirrors 459
Conclusion 485
App Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points 495
Bibliography 497
Notes 513
Index 545
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter 1

Woodrow Wilson Comes to Europe

On december 4, 1918, the George Washington sailed out of New York with the American delegation to the Peace Conference on board. Guns fired salutes, crowds along the waterfront cheered, tugboats hooted and Army planes and dirigibles circled overhead. Robert Lansing, the American secretary of state, released carrier pigeons with messages to his relatives about his deep hope for a lasting peace. The ship, a former German passenger liner, slid out past the Statue of Liberty to the Atlantic, where an escort of destroyers and battleships stood by to accompany it and its cargo of heavy expectations to Europe.

On board were the best available experts, combed out of the universities and the government; crates of reference materials and special studies; the French and Italian ambassadors to the United States; and Woodrow Wilson. No other American president had ever gone to Europe while in office. His opponents accused him of breaking the Constitution; even his supporters felt he might be unwise. Would he lose his great moral authority by getting down to the hurly-burly of negotiations? Wilson¹s own view was clear: the making of the peace was as important as the winning of the war. He owed it to the peoples of Europe, who were crying out for a better world. He owed it to the American servicemen. "It is now my duty," he told a pensive Congress just before he left, "to play my full part in making good what they gave their life's blood to obtain." A British diplomat was more cynical; Wilson, he said, was drawn to Paris "as a debutante is entranced by the prospect of her first ball."

Wilson expected, he wrote tohis great friend Edward House, who was already in Europe, that he would stay only to arrange the main outlines of the peace settlements. It was not likely that he would remain for the formal Peace Conference with the enemy. He was wrong. The preliminary conference turned, without anyone's intending it, into the final one, and Wilson stayed for most of the crucial six months between January and June 1919. The question of whether or not he should have gone to Paris, which exercised so many of his contemporaries, now seems unimportant. From Franklin Roosevelt at Yalta to Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton at Camp David, American presidents have sat down to draw borders and hammer out peace agreements. Wilson had set the conditions for the armistices which ended the Great War. Why should he not make the peace as well?

Although he had not started out in 1912 as a foreign policy president, circumstances and his own progressive political principles had drawn him outward. Like many of his compatriots, he had come to see the Great War as a struggle between the forces of democracy, however imperfectly represented by Britain and France, and those of reaction and militarism, represented all too well by Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany's sack of Belgium, its unrestricted submarine warfare and its audacity in attempting to entice Mexico into waging war on the United States had pushed Wilson and American public opinion toward the Allies. When Russia had a democratic revolution in February 1917, one of the last reservations that the Allies included an autocracy vanished. Although he had campaigned in 1916 on a platform of keeping the country neutral, Wilson brought the United States into the war in April 1917. He was convinced that he was doing the right thing. This was important to the son of a Presbyterian minister, who shared his father's deep religious conviction, if not his calling.

Wilson was born in Virginia in 1856, just before the Civil War. Although he remained a Southerner in some ways all his life‹in his insistence on honor and his paternalistic attitudes toward women and blacks he also accepted the war's outcome. Abraham Lincoln was one of his great heroes, along with Edmund Burke and William Gladstone. The young Wilson was at once highly idealistic and intensely ambitious. After four very happy years at Princeton and an unhappy stint as a lawyer, he found his first career in teaching and writing. By 1890 he was back at Princeton, a star member of the faculty. In 1902 he became its president, supported virtually unanimously by the trustees, faculty and students.

In the next eight years Wilson transformed Princeton from a sleepy college for gentlemen into a great university. He reworked the curriculum, raised significant amounts of money and brought into the faculty the brightest and the best young men from across the country. By 1910, he was a national figure and the Democratic party in New Jersey, under the control of conservative bosses, invited him to run for governor. Wilson agreed, but insisted on running on a progressive platform of controlling big business and extending democracy. He swept the state and by 1911 "Wilson for President" clubs were springing up. He spoke for the dispossessed, the disenfranchised and all those who had been left behind by the rapid economic growth of the late nineteenth century. In 1912, at a long and hard-fought convention, Wilson got the Democratic nomination for president. That November, with the Republicans split by Teddy Roosevelt's decision to run as a progressive against William Howard Taft, Wilson was elected. In 1916, he was reelected, with an even greater share of the popular vote.

Wilson's career was a series of triumphs, but there were darker moments, both personal and political, fits of depression and sudden and baffling illnesses. Moreover, he had left behind him a trail of enemies, many of them former friends. "An ingrate and a liar," said a Democratic boss in New Jersey in a toast. Wilson never forgave those who disagreed with him. "He is a good hater," said his press officer and devoted admirer Ray Stannard Baker. He was also stubborn. As House said, with admiration: "Whenever a question is presented he keeps an absolutely open mind and welcomes all suggestion or advice which will lead to a correct decision. But he is receptive only during the period that he is weighing the question and preparing to make his decision. Once the decision is made it is final and there is an absolute end to all advice and suggestion. There is no moving him after that." What was admirable to some was a dangerous egotism to others. The French ambassador in Washington saw "a man who, had he lived a couple of centuries ago, would have been the greatest tyrant in the world, because he does not seem to have the slightest conception that he can ever be wrong."

This side of Wilson¹s character was in evidence when he chose his fellow commissioners‹or plenipotentiaries, as the chief delegates were known‹to the Peace Conference. He was himself one. House, "my alter ego," as he was fond of saying, was another. Reluctantly he selected Lansing, his secretary of state, as a third, mainly because it would have been awkward to leave him behind. Where Wilson had once rather admired Lansing's vast store of knowledge, his meticulous legal mind and his apparent readiness to take a back seat, by 1919 that early liking had turned to irritation and contempt. Lansing, it turned out, did have views, often strong ones which contradicted the president's. "He has," Wilson complained to House, who noted it down with delight, "no imagination, no constructive ability, and but little real ability of any kind." The fourth plenipotentiary, General Tasker Bliss, was already in France as the American military representative on the Supreme War Council. A thoughtful and intelligent man who loved to lie in bed with a hip flask reading Thucydides in the original Greek, he was also, many of the junior members of the American delegation believed, well past his prime. Since Wilson was to speak to him on only five occasions during the Peace Conference, perhaps that did not matter.

The president's final selection, Henry White, was a charming, affable retired diplomat, the high point of whose career had been well before the war. Mrs. Wilson was to find him useful in Paris on questions of etiquette.
Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. In 1919, Europe had just been through a devastating war, which left political, social, and economic turmoil in its wake. The war also had a considerable impact on the Middle East and parts of Asia and Africa. What were the main issues and concerns facing the peacemakers in 1919?

2. Some historians–Arno Mayer, for example–have argued that the peacemakers of 1919 were determined to prevent the spread of revolution westward from Russia. To what extent did fear of Bolshevism shape the decisions made in Paris?

3. It has often been said that there was a gulf between Woodrow Wilson and his new diplomacy, on one side, and the Europeans and their old diplomacy on the other. Discuss what is meant by the new and the old diplomacy. Was there in fact such a gulf?

4. What did Woodrow Wilson mean by “national self-determination”? Why did some of his colleagues, such as Robert Lansing, worry about it? What impact did the notion of self-determination have? Was it easy to put into effect?

5. Each country in Paris had its own concerns and aims. Evaluate the main interests that each of the major powers–France, Great, Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States–brought to the table.

6. The peace settlements, in particular the resolution with Germany, have often been blamed for the outbreak of World War II. Was the Treaty of Versailles as punitive, unfair, and vindictive as has often been said?

7. Discuss the ways in which decisions made in Paris affected China and Japan. Did the relationship between the two countries grow better or worse as a result?

8. The Paris Peace Conference was the first major international peace conference where the press was present in force. In addition, the leaders of the powers had to pay attention to the views and wishes of their electorates. How important was public opinion in the making of the peace settlements after World War I?

9. A number of countries had designs on the territory of the Ottoman empire after World War I, and the Ottoman empire itself was in no position to fight back. Nevertheless, why did the Treaty of Sèvres remain a dead letter? In what ways was the later Treaty of Lausanne different?

10. During the war, the Allies–the British and the French in particular–made a number of agreements and promises about the Arab parts of the Ottoman empire. To what extent have those agreements and the decisions made by the peacemakers about the Middle East had an impact on developments there since?

11. Although Woodrow Wilson is often seen as the person responsible for the League of Nations, many people, both in Europe and North America, shared his goals. What was the League supposed to accomplish? Why is it often described as a great experiment?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Review by www.cymlowell.blogspot.com

    Why is our world in such a mess today? Why do we have constant political problems in Israel-Palestine, in the Balkans, in Iraq and the Middle East, between the U.S. and France, and so on?

    Are these issues a result of events happening today or yesterday?

    All of these issues, and many others, are in one way or another tied to the resolution of World War I, which was, historians tell us, triggered by the assassination of an Austrian prince in Sarajevo. The Germans and the Austria-Hungarians then commenced a war that was largely fought in the trenched fields of France and Belgium. Millions died on all sides, including the Russian front.

    When the war was over, due to surrender by the Germans before the war crossed the Rhine, the Paris Peace Conference was convened to settle the political fallout. New countries were created, old borders re-drawn, entreaties granted or denied, and the personalities and relationship of Woodrow Wilson, Clemenceau, and Lloyd George created a new world order. The war to end all wars, of course, was a failure in many ways, not the least of which the breakout of another war with a generation.

    Many of the whys and wherefores of the Twentieth Century emanate from the Paris Peace Conference. We see the fallout everyday in the press.

    Paris: 1919 is a historical masterpiece. In many places it reads like a history book, complete with the author's feelings about the nature of conversations that did or could have taken place. On the other hand, it is an easy read in terms of focusing on the history of places or events that are of interest to you.

    In my case, I have always been fascinated by Turkey, Israel-Palestine, the Crusades, the Byzantine Empire, Roman and Greek conquest and administration of the area, and so on. These subjects are addressed in the final 150 or so pages. I read each word, riveted by the role that one of my favorite historical characters (T.E. Lawrence, the ubiquitous Lawrence of Arabia) played in the peace process.

    I found Paris: 1919 to be amazingly thought-provoking. Would the world be a better place today if Woodrow Wilson had had a different personality, or if the U.S. had taken the Palestinian Mandate?

    Could Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, and Nicholas Sarkozy to a better job if we had a Paris: 2010 Peace Conference?

    If you wonder about the politics of today, spend a few hours in the politics of 1919-1920 and let your own thoughts soar.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good but sometimes tedious read

    This book is about the Paris 1919 Peace Conference following the end of World War I. It is nicely organized and focuses on all aspects of the negotiations. The book is fairly long, due to the high amount of detail that was included. The research the author did was amazing and she included a great deal of information in her book. This is good and bad because I found the book to be tedious to read after awhile. About halfway through I got bored of the book.

    This is by no means light reading so I only recommend it to people who are genuinely interested in this topic. Otherwise you will probably be a little bored and find this book somewhat difficult to wade through.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2004

    Versailles: How treaty deals are REALLY made

    Margaret MacMillan won numerous prizes and recognition for her book and with good reason. Her book takes an historical subject, i.e. the Treaty of Versailles, and breaths life and vitality into the intriguing characters at Versailles and beyond. Unlike so many accounts of the much-maligned Versailles Treaty, MacMillan gives the treaty creation process a thorough and honest appraisal. Like all human endeavors, the treaty was a product of its creators, principally Wilson, Lloyd George, and Clemenceau, and all the contemporary pressures they faced. The second-guessing and 20/20 hindsight of many modern day authors really fails to appreciate the conditions of upheaval, unprecedented change, and lack of enforcement power on the ground which the peacemakers faced. The book begins with an enlightening, chapter-length personality and character review for each of the three peacemakers. From this segment the reader can grasp the varying perspectives of each leader and his goals for the peace. Wilson wants his League of Nations, Lloyd George sets out to expand the British Empire, and Clemenceau is determined to emasculate Germany's military threat to France. The following part then looks at the popular mandate given to the peacemakers from people all over the world for 'a just and fair peace for all', the question of Bolshevik Russia, the League of Nations, and the concept of League mandates. The remainder of the book is organized by regions with a chapter each covering the more significant nations discussed in the treaty (Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Japan, China, Greece, Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Turkey). And, of course, there is a detailed investigation of the treaty with Germany, which covers territories to be ceded, reparations, war guilt, arms limitations, etc. MacMillan's focus on the individual personalities and their constituent political pressures reveals how and why the treaty's provisions originated. And she does a wonderful job of demonstrating how the enlightened ideals of 'Professor' Wilson quickly clashed with the European world of real-politik, secret wartime treaties, and countless practical considerations. While many new eastern European nations were founded on the principle of self-determination, these new nation-states exhibited a profound capacity to be more aggressive and rapacious than the defunct empires they replaced. Indeed, while the Big Three haggled over borders in far away lands, their decisions were often simply ignored by troops on the ground. (Diplomatic power ultimately rests on military muscle.) In addition, there was still much old-fashioned imperial, land-grabbing camouflaged as League mandates by the victorious European combatants, especially in the increasingly important Near and Middle East. Finally, despite the idealism expressed in Wilson's famous 14 Points, there was certainly no doubt that Germany was really being punished. Despite all its shortcomings, the Versailles Treaty did help millions of people finally realize their nationalist dreams out of the ruins of the defeated empires. Most of these nations still exist, although some countries have further sub-divided into multiple states (e.g. Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia) while the for other peoples unified national existence still remains but a fantasy (Kurds, Armenians). And Germany, though punished, was treated much better than every one of the countries it defeated (e.g. Russia, Romania). The primary fault with the treaty lay not so much in the German punitive provisions, as the Allied government's later unwillingness to enforce them and the dangerous consequences thereof. In short, this book gives a realistic look about how deals (e.g. international treaties) are really made and what the Versailles Treaty actually created.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ¿Six Months that Changed the World¿ might actually take six mont

    “Six Months that Changed the World” might actually take six months to read– but it is well-worth the time spent!  This book is not for the casual history reader but for one who wants the nitty-gritty details of pivotal events (truly world-changing as the title suggests) whose consequences resonate to our present day.

    So many of today’s headlining news stories have their roots in the events that are the subject of this book.  For that reason, for the person who wants to really understand how we got where we are today and the roles that many of the modern nations must play on today’s international stage, this book is essential reading.  Also included in this book is detailed insight into the many people who  played a part in the Paris Peace Conference.  Knowing the individual stories of these participants provides insight into their motivations during the peace process– this is an important aspect of the story.  The author is honest about her Anglo heritage; knowing her background allowed me to censor what may have been some bias on her part.

    Be warned however!  There are so many names, places, facts, events in this book that it can become very overwhelming to keep everything straight.  The notation, highlighting and search functions of the digital edition were very helpful and much used by me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Stares to the third floor

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2009

    Very good book

    information; a very good read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    ""The Three Musketeers",

    David Lloyd George (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom - Chancellor of the Exchequer), Georges Clemenceau (France's President of the Council and Minister of war - doctor and journalist) and Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (Prime Minister of Italy - Professor of Law) <BR/><BR/><BR/>Lloyd George also found in WWI England's outlet to avoid in house rebellion against possible autonomy for Ireland. <BR/>During that period schism ruled the country threatening to expand to the rest of the British Empire. <BR/>LG talked `about the gravest issue raised in this country since the days of the Stuarts', the words `civil war' and `rebellion' was mentioned to describe the grave situation in Ireland. <BR/>As Exchequer LG was afraid that post war period would breakdown the whole credit system with London, as world power, at its centre. A wave of financial panic that had started in New York engulfed the main Capitals all over Europe. <BR/>At Versailles, Lloyd George had good ear for melodrama, and at 56 by 1919 he looked years older. <BR/><BR/>Orlando headed the Cabinet after humiliating defeat of Italy's armed forces at Caporetto (Slovenia) on the Austro-Italian front when Austro-Hungarian troops supported (of course) by German units, routed the Italian army and immediately broke the entire Italian front. <BR/>The word `Caperetto' gained its defeating resonance in the Italian parlance. (Even Mussolini used it later to describe - and dismiss - any sense of defeatism in the Army - or anywhere within his administration) <BR/>Orlando rebelled furiously at such `stigma' and at Versailles demanded (begged) to know if Italy were to be treated as `subordinate' - a point that caused lots of frictions within Italy - or enjoy the spoils of war with proper amenities. <BR/>Acting as Catholic chaplain he relied on the Holy See to convey the gratifying news that Italy, although vanquished and tired to the bones, deserved just and fair treatment. His paroxysm of passion burst him into tears many times. <BR/>At Versailles, Vittorio Orlando was 59 and came to the meeting overwrought, pale cheeked and white faced; he too looked years older. <BR/><BR/>Doctor Georges Clemenceau - the Tiger of France - was deluged several times before the WWI broke that Germany was premobilizing its forces at times France was utterly unprepared. (Some French troops were carried to their HQ by taxis) <BR/>GC was also obsessed by the civil strife that engulfed Paris in 1914 - when many foreigners suspected of being German spies were arrested and troops came in to control the situation - The events developed violent temper in GC, on several occasions he was heard uttering words like `an idiot ...' `fire the guy...' `He should be torn to ribbons....'. <BR/>At the terrible cost of draining French manpower, CG knew well that was an error that would never be repaired. The culprits were the Germans. The wrongdoers were the Germans; the greed came from Germany, expansionism was Germanic. To put an end to this deadlock, Germany ought to be penalized. <BR/>At Versailles, George Clemenceau was 79 by 1919 he acted much younger than his age. <BR/><BR/>The three didn't listen to Woodrow Wilson 14 points; a formidable man of principles, Wilson puritanically attached to neutrality, criticized the Treaty of Versailles that they drafted based on `Revenge. Hate. Fear. Desperation' <BR/>It is strange how the three musketeers couldn't perceive how war stifles reforms - greatness at the world stage had been their aim.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2008

    AP World Student Review: A wonderfully written text although too indepth at random and unnecessary intervals

    Macmillan's 'Paris 1919 6 Monthes that Changed the World' is certainly a text woth reading if one is interested in the war,the Paris Peace Conference and such. The text is wonderfully written and in depth, which may be its only flaw. At what appear to be random intervals, Macmillan goes so unbelievably in depth within a single perso's life outside the context of the Confernce that once she resumes with the rest of the novel one must reset their mind and remind themselves what she was speaking of at the begining of the chapter. Such things might include the fact that the assistant to the President enjoyed reading Classical Greek literature...in classical Greek along with a bottle of liqour in hand. Overall, in the entire context of the text it is most definately reccomended as a refence piece or as some side reading material if such a subject peaks your interest. I have never before seen such a detailed book on the subject and Macmillan has capture the year 1919 winderfully (she does go into 1920 although the text is primarilly focused upon 1919).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2004

    Too Much of Very Little

    This was a difficult book to wade through especially with the scattered style (Seemingly endless sentences) of the Author. An Author who has written this book with a superior anglican bias. At some points you can almost hear her say 'Silly little Frenchman' or 'Those Naive Americans'. She still does not believe that the Treaty was the cause of the coming Horrors. She will always be a staunch defender of the Empire.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2004

    I give three stars for effort, not for the book

    I got to page 66 and stopped. Too discursive. A steady stream of unrelated¿but interesting facts. Suggest a read of 'The Kings Depart', circa 1960 by Richard Watt., all about the same period, but readable. Under that title, refer to my review .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2004

    War Winners, Peace Losers

    After WWI, the victors, mainly the U.S., Britain and France, had the responsibility to draw a new world order after the fall of the old one, at the Conference of Paris and other conferences thereafter. Possibly frustrating some readers, Margaret MacMillan rightly chose a thematic approach to the issues that the Big Three had to address during the Conference of Paris. MacMillan does a good job making the necessary connections between the chapters so that readers do not lose sight of the big picture. Each theme is so complex that it could be the subject of a book on its own. Paris 1919 can entice readers to know more about this period. MacMillan clearly shows the disconnect between a peace conference and happenings in the field. Despite the best intentions of the U.S., Britain and France, these countries were often inconsistent in the application of some key principles such as auto-determination and territory swaps, in their desire to reward the victors and punish the losers. Furthermore, the U.S., Britain and France tended to focus on short-term gains without considering long-term implications. Whoever needs convincing on this point can think about Palestine, Iraq, former Yugoslavia and Hungary, to name a few. Paradoxically, the Treaty of Lausanne that almost complelety wiped out the punitive Sevres Treaty (one of the aftermaths of the Conference of Paris) towards Modern Turkey has been the most successful and the most lasting of all the post-war treaties. Modern Turkey, one of the defeated nations at the end of WWI, successfully rebelled against the respective diktats of the victorious nations and humbled them one by one first on the battlefields and then in the diplomatic arenas. As George Curzon, a British imperial statesman, noted at the end of the conference in Lausanne: Hitherto we have dictated our peace treaties. Now we are negotiating one with an enemy who has an army while we have none, an unheard of position. Iraq is a current example of how difficult making peace can be compared to winning war. Fair elections, though possibly subpar if organized in the short term, could promote peace in Iraq. These elections could send a strong signal to Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds alike. To the Shiites by making clear that the unjust, past rule of the Sunni minority is over. Elections would help convince the Sunnis and Kurds that in a federal structure they will be their own masters in a wide range of matters. Of course, each community will have to guarantee the basic rights of minorities in their respective entities. The Coalition and Iraqis should find some very useful inspiration in the Belgian Constitution and its implementation laws. The Flemish-speaking majority has coexisted peacefully with the French and German-speaking minorities for many years in a federalist structure while deciding on its own destiny in a wide range of matters that do not interfere with the viability of the Belgian federation. Similarly, the French and German-speaking minorities can preside over their respective future in the same matters without endangering the existence of the Belgian federal state.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2003

    An exquisite book

    A marvelous account of a critical period in history , when the seeds for today's world were planted. McMillan gives true life to the the swarm of great and not-so-great leaders of the world of 1919. Tremendously enjoyable!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2003

    Fashionable, 'great man' approach to history

    Margaret MacMillan, an historian based at Ryerson University, gives us her account of the Paris conference of 1919. The German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman Empires had all gone, and delegates from thirty countries met for six months to agree Treaties supposed to bring peace and stability. But in fact the British, French, US and Italian governments made all the decisions. And how much peace did the Conference achieve? According to the British officer Archibald Wavell, 1919 was more a peace to end peace. The conference backed the counter-revolutionary war against Russia. Winston Churchill. spurred by class hatred, was the most vicious and slanderous enemy of the Russian people. He boasted about the forces that he more than anyone had sent into Russia, ¿they shot Soviet Russians at sight. They stood as invaders on Russian soil. They armed the enemies of the Soviet Government. They blockaded its ports and sunk its battleships. They earnestly desired and schemed its downfall.¿ MacMillan, to her shame, writes, ¿With hindsight, Churchill and Foch were right about the Bolsheviks.¿ Further, the Conference let Britain and France divide the Middle East into occupied mandates, `telling the Moslem what he ought to think¿, as Balfour said. MacMillan quotes Lloyd George, ¿Mesopotamia ... yes ... oil ... we must have Mesopotamia; Palestine ... yes ... the Holy Land ... Zionism ... we must have Palestine; Syria ... h¿m ... what is there in Syria? Let the French have that.¿ MacMillan likens the end of the First World War to the counter-revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989-90: ¿there was the same sense of a new order emerging.¿ But the end of the Soviet Union did not bring peace, quite the opposite: it ended the post-1945 peace settlement and ushered in a period of wars, from Yugoslavia to Chechnya to Iraq. Nor did the 1919 Conference bring a new order, ending war. This is fashionable history seen through the prism of personalities, the `great man¿ approach to history. No wonder that Blair, we are told, liked this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2003

    window on the present

    One of the best books I've read. Incredibly interesting, and full of information that will educate you to a broad spectrum of budding 'nationistic' perspectives. Much undestanding of today's events can be traced to this expose

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2003

    A Timely and Great Read for Anyone Interested in World News

    I believe anyone with an interest in the events moving and continuing to shape the world today will find this book as fascinating as the people and decisions it portrays are frustrating. It brings the news of the last few years in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East into clearer focus as the author shows how prejudices, attitudes and a clash of philosophies brought many of our modern nations into being and created many of the situations that lead into World War Two and to the crises we face today and will face into the future. While this very readable book brings the facts to the forefront, it breathes life into the subject with tidbits of the gossip and the strengths, weaknesses, and eccentricities of those who shaped the world we live in today. Too much of the background presented in the book looks as though it could have come from recent headlines, making ¿Paris 1919¿ a sometimes sad reminder that maybe we haven¿t made as much progress in dealing with the problems and prejudices of the world as we might like to believe in the last 100 years or so.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)