When war broke out in Europe in 1914, political leaders in the United States were swayed by popular opinion to remain neutral; yet less than three years later, the nation declared war on Germany. In Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America's Entry into World War I, Justus D. Doenecke examines the clash of opinions over the war during this transformative period and offers a fresh perspective on America's decision to enter World War I.
Doenecke reappraises the public and private diplomacy of President Woodrow Wilson and his closest advisors and explores in great depth the response of Congress to the war. He also investigates the debates that raged in the popular media and among citizen groups that sprang up across the country as the U.S. economy was threatened by European blockades and as Americans died on ships sunk by German U-boats.
The decision to engage in battle ultimately belonged to Wilson, but as Doenecke demonstrates, Wilson's choice was not made in isolation. Nothing Less Than War provides a comprehensive examination of America's internal political climate and its changing international role during the seminal period of 1914-1917.
|Publisher:||University Press of Kentucky|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Justus D. Doenecke, professor emeritus of history at New College of Florida, is the author of ten books. His book, Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 19391941, won the 2001 Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Award for the best book on any topic in American history from 1914 to 1964.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Woodrow Wilson is president, Europe is embroiled in WWI and America is a very different nation, almost a foreign land unrecognizable to us. For any book about WWI, capturing that America is difficult but required. If they fail, the book creates more questions than providing answers. This book captures that America and effortlessly explains its' ideals, attitudes, fears and needs. While America is the focus, we get a good view of England, France and Germany too. As we follow the progression from Peace to War, the author tells us about the forces pulling America in each direction. At the center is Woodrow Wilson, grieving over the death of his first wife, finding his second wife, working on reelection even as his health starts to fail. Wilson is an odd mix of idealism and real politics. Much of the time, he reacts to events without trying to control them. The majority of Americans do not want war. If America were forced into the war, a large part of the population would rather fight England. America watches Japan, Germany and England with a mix of fear and anger. Germany is the most provocative. England, fighting for her life, is more than willing to bend the law. The English blockade is starving Germans and forcing unrestricted submarine warfare as their only real option. Japan is both feared and loathed. Orientals challenging whites for control of the Pacific is not acceptable given the racism of the times. America is not a military power. The system that has worked for 140 years is falling apart in the modern world. Oceans are no longer real protection, national army's approach a million men, modern ships and airplanes are among the things America lacks. America has factories. America has raw materials to feed the factories. America has the ability to loan millions of dollars to fund modern war. Both sides need access to America. England and France have that access and fill the Atlantic with ships carrying American food and products to their ports. Germany has the U-boat and must stop those ships. America insists on the Right's of Neutrals to trade with both sides while trading with one. Many things broke down during WWI. One of them was maritime law regarding neutrals and belligerents. Laws written in the late 1800s were useless in the 1900s. The author lays out the situation of the major players making us understand their problems and needs. After that, we get a tour of America on the eve of WWI. The large German-American population, foreign born or first generation has ties to Germany. The large Irish-American population is anti-British. Most of the Midwest wants no foreign involvement. The Far West looks at Japan as the enemy and cares little about Europe. This book is an excellent history of how America enters WWI on the side of England & France. Year by year, incident by incident the book follows the path ends in war. The author does an excellent job of explaining the issues, personalities and reality of their world. This scholarly work is very readable and enjoyable!