The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931

The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931

by Adam Tooze


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A searing and highly original analysis of the First World War and its anguished aftermath
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize - History
Finalist for the Kirkus Prize - Nonfiction

In the depths of the Great War, with millions dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. The heart of the financial system shifted from London to New York. The infinite demands for men and matériel reached into countries far from the front. The strain of the war ravaged all economic and political assumptions, bringing unheard-of changes in the social and industrialorder.

A century after the outbreak of fighting, Adam Tooze revisits this seismic moment in history, challenging the existing narrative of the war, its peace, and its aftereffects. From the day the United States enters the war in 1917 to the precipice of global financial ruin, Tooze delineates the world remade by American economic and military power. Tracing the ways in which countries came to terms with America’s centrality—including the slide into fascism—The Deluge is a chilling work of great originality that will fundamentally change how we view the legacy of World War I.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143127970
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 230,494
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Adam Tooze is the Barton M. Biggs Professor of History and codirector of International Security Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Statistics and the German State, 1900-1945 and The Wages of Destruction, which won the Wolfson Prize and the Longman Prize, and was an Economist book of the year.

Ralph Lister is an award-winning stage and film actor whose credits include roles in Oz: The Great and Powerful, Setup, and Alleged. An Audie Award-nominated narrator, Ralph has recorded more than one hundred audiobooks and directed over a dozen others, across all genres, both fiction and nonfiction.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

List of Maps xiii

Maps xv

List of Figures and Tables xix

Acknowledgements xxiii

Introduction The Deluge: The Remaking of World Order 3

1 The Eurasian Crisis

1 War in the Balance 33

2 Peace without Victory 50

3 The War Grave of Russian Democracy 68

4 China Joins a World at War 88

5 Brest-Litovsk 108

6 Making a Brutal Peace 124

7 The World Come Apart 141

8 Intervention 156

2 Winning a Democratic Victory

9 Energizing the Entente 173

10 The Arsenals of Democracy 199

11 Armistice: Setting the Wilsonian Script 218

12 Democracy Under Pressure 232

3 The Unfinished Peace

13 A Patchwork World Order 255

14 'The Truth About the Treaty' 271

15 Reparations 288

16 Compliance in Europe 305

17 Compliance in Asia 321

18 The Fiasco of Wilsonianism 333

4 The Search for a New Order

19 The Great Deflation 353

20 Crisis of Empire 374

21 A Conference in Washington 394

22 Reinventing Communism 408

23 Genoa: The Failure of British Hegemony 424

24 Europe on the Brink 440

25 The New Politics of War and Peace 462

26 The Great Depression 487


Raising the Stakes 511

Notes 519

Index 585

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for The Deluge

“In the centennial of WWI, Tooze’s work affords a reminder of that conflict’s immense impact on world history. Abundant facts and figures stud his account of the postwar crises up to the end point of 1931, when President Herbert Hoover suspended debt and reparations repayments. Whatever that action’s merits, it illustrated the ability of the U.S. to act unilaterally. With this new power-factor as his theme, Tooze’s analysis, particularly of fears the American capitalist juggernaut provoked, should spark debate, especially in scholarly circles.”—Booklist
“A thoroughly researched, much-needed reexamination of America’s role in the aftermath of World War I that will appeal to any reader interested in the interwar period.”— Library Journal
“In this landmark study, Tooze offers an elegant account of the reordering of great-power relations that took place after World War I, at the dawn of ‘the American century.’ He shows how in the period between the war and the onset of the Great Depression, the United States exercised its power in ‘peculiar’ ways, operating indirectly and focusing less on the military force. Tooze draws a parallel between post-World War I period and the ‘unipolar moment’ that followed the Soviet collapse near the end of the twentieth century. In both cases, U.S. leaders embraced an exceptionalist view of their country’s role in the world and sought to overturn a pluralistic world order based on the balance of power.”— Foreign Affairs
“Bold and ambitious... The Deluge is the work of a fine historian at the peak of his powers, formidable in its range and command of the material, written in strong, muscular prose.... The best of the current deluge of books about the first world war.”
—Ben Shephard, The Observer (UK)
“An utterly hynotic history of Europe’s fragile interwar peace.... What Tooze has done—a huge, formidable achievement—is to reconstruct a vast global web, and to show how the slightest vibrations on its threads had consequences everywhere, almost regardless of individual fears and hates or venomous ideologies. The breadth of his scholarship also frighteningly illuminates the fragility of peace.”
The Telegraph (UK)
“[Tooze’s] new book confirms his stature as an analyst of hugely complex political and economic issues…. Here, as in his earlier work, Tooze shows himself a formidably impressive chronicler of a critical period of modern history, unafraid of bold judgments.”
—Max Hastings, The Sunday Times (UK)
“Tooze’s book is an invaluable account of why the US and its allies, having defeated Germany in 1918, were unable thereafter to stabilise the world economy and build a collective security system.”
The Financial Times
“Amid all the current commemorative news, a clear and compelling rationale as to why it is actually worth going back and looking at the era of the First World War at this particular moment in time.”
—Neil Gregor, Literary Review 

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