The 1919-20 Senate debate over ratification of the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations remains one of the most intense foreign policy debates in U.S. history. The idea of an international organization to repel aggression had been popular for most of the 1910s. Cooper (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison), who did extensive research in the archival papers of key players in the debate, here provides a new interpretation differing from that of standard works such as Thomas Bailey's Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal (1945) and Ralph Stone's Irreconcilables (1970). He attributes the defeat of the treaty to President Wilson's failure to court senators' support of the agreement and his failure to compromise at all with Senate opponents. At several critical junctures, the author claims, the President could have changed enough votes to ratify the agreement had he been willing to deal. The secrecy surrounding the President's stroke made his supporters unwilling to strike their own deal without approval. This fresh and well-documented assessment belongs in most academic libraries. Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"Breaking the Heart of the World is a wide-ranging, exhaustively researched, and carefully argued study of the treaty debate." Rhetoric & Public Affairs
"Cooper's analysis is acute, even-handed and remarkably free of the sentimentality (or scorn) that so often colors writing about Wilson." Jeff Shesol, The New York Times Book Review
"The end of the Cold War has brought renewed support forand renewed opposition tothe Wilsonian vision of the international future. Breaking the Heart of the World, a splendid fusion of absorbing narrative and crisp analysis, is the book that explains authoritatively what in fact Woodrow Wilson was up to and the difference he hoped to make in all our lives." Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
"It did not have to happen. At any point Wilson could have had his treaty. It opponents cold have had their reservations. Good men failed. It broke the heart of the world, and for the rest of the centruy things were never the same. John Milton Cooper, Jr.'s account is, well, heartbreaking." Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"Mr. Cooper has made a substantial contribution to our understanding of Woodrow Wilson, both as man and myth, and has thoroughly fleshed out a political and diplomatic narrative that will not be easily or soon surpassed." Washington Times
"A most probing, balanced, and enlightening treatment of Wilson and the League, drawn from a remarkable array of sources and from this distinguished historian's decades of study on the project." James MacGregor Burns, Williams College
"This beautifully crafted bookat once dramatically engaging and intellectually stimualtingoffers a new and highly significant analysis of a subject of inestimable importance in understanding international relations in the modern epcoh. Breaking the Heart of the World is a work by an eminent historian at the top of his form. It will not only rank as one of the truly great books ever written about Woodrow Wilson; it may also make a notable contribution to public discourse on American foreign policy in our own time." Thomas J. Knock, author of To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order
"Dismiss the idea that yet another book on the League fight might be reluctant. Cooper places the struggle in the widest possible context and in the process makes a major contribution to out understanding of the sometimes troubling nature of American political culture. He also provides a needed lesson for the current generation of historians, namely that insight and judiciousness are not mutually exclusive qualities." William C. Widenor, author of Henry Cabot Lodge and the Search for an American Foreign Policy
"John Milton Cooper, Jr. has produced a masterpiece of meticulous scholarship and incisive argumentation. Never before has the debate on American participation in the Leagu of Nations been so thoroughly analyzed on the basis of such extensive research. An never before have the implications of Woodrow Wilson's ultimate failure been so intelligentlyand so regretfully-explored." Niall Ferguson, author of The Pity of War: Explaining World War I
"Breaking the Heart of the World is a meticulously researched and well-written study of Wilson's efforts." Claremont Review of Books