Paris 1919

Paris 1919

Six Months That Changed the World

Book - 2002
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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. A landmark work of narrative history,Paris 1919is 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. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2002], c2001
Edition: 1st U.S. ed. --
ISBN: 9780375508264
0375508260
9780375760525
0375760520
Branch Call Number: 940.3141/MACM 4565 1

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zipread
Feb 11, 2016

Paris 1919 --- by --- Margaret Macmillan.
Ordinarily I am a frequent reader of history. Ordinarily it doesn’t matter if the history is Roman, medieval, or modern. I even read historical fiction with great delight. Ordinarily, once a work of history gets its talons into me I don’t stop until the entire book has been devoured. Ordinarily. But not so with this book. It barely passed the 50 test. In my opinion, this book progressed much too slowly, concerned itself with such a level of detail as to border on tedium. Ordinarily I wouldn’t abandon a book like this. Ordinarily.

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cadet578
Mar 13, 2015

i find it interesting. i think if you wanted to you could read it in one night if you were determined enough and liked it.

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gloryb
Sep 09, 2014

MacMillan shows the process of writing up the peace treaty of 1919. She thoroughly gives the views of each country...what was wanted, the arguments given, and the gains or losses for a land bid. She accomplishes this goal by giving a chapter for each country that was involved. This book, therefore, would be useful when a history student needs to defend or present the views of a particular country on the Peace of Versailles, especially the Eastern European countries as history books on these countries are not widely available to students. MacMillan includes maps of the disputed areas and Wilson's 14 Points, but to read the Treaty of Versailles or even portions of it, look elsewhere. She does, however, embed in the chapters some wordings/phrases/sentences from the first draft of the Treaty, but, because the bickering amongst the 4 leaders resulted in changes to these statements, it requires much reading to pull out the final "draft" of the Treaty from these chapters. Good bibliography and notes should students wish to pursue these works. This book is very readable. MacMillan makes the political leaders come alive with their descriptions, quirks, opinions, and quotes. Her concluding chapter is an interesting one given how all the countries felt about the Treaty. I am glad I read it.

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HROPERTZ
Feb 14, 2014

I was disappointed with this book given all the rewards it won. There is evidence of an anti German and anti Serbian bias. For example Ms. MacMillan quotes Churchill "the Balkans produce more History they can consume." This reference could easily apply to Britain as well given how it conquered so many countries. Reinforcing stereotypes in a History book is neither helpful nor informative.

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elliducky
Nov 05, 2012

While I'm reading this for my History class, and am not finished at this point I must say- very readable, and almost enjoyable. Even with my hate for history. She's able to take the history of it all and be a story teller. However, it's not an all in one night book, or even a few nights. Each page takes a while to read in itself.

gregan_ca Jul 27, 2011

A very readable history. I would advise readers to make sure they know their geography before begining. Macmillan assumea that you arefamiliar with terms like Balkans, Baltics, Caucasus, Crimea, Ottoman Empire, and Prussia for examples, as well as countries and major cities.

unreg_69578584 Feb 18, 2010

very insightful look at post colonial european relations

neko Dec 23, 2009

proposed title for October 2010

2
21288004246712
Oct 20, 2008

workman like

a
AnamCara
Nov 22, 2007

This gives a different insight into the end of the first world war. It shows what all sides were trying to get for themselves out of the peace talks and what they did actually get.

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