WILSON AND HIS PEACEMAKERS: American Diplomacy at the Peace Conference by Arthur Walworth

WILSON AND HIS PEACEMAKERS: American Diplomacy at the Peace Conference

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Heavy reading about the day-to-day dealings at Versailles after the Armistice ending WW I by an expert (Walworth, won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for his Woodrow Wilson: American Prophet). Walworth again continually uses the term ""prophet"" one suspects both perjoratively, but with a twinkle of admiration when referring to Wilson. But that is, after all, exactly how Wilson saw himself: the puritan prophet crossing the ocean to recreate the world that the Euopeans had bolloxed-up. In so doing, Wilson and his peacemakers--Colonel House, Tasker Bliss, John Foster Dulles, et al.--were naively conducting, not diplomacy, but political consensus-making, with the politics coming from the American side of the ocean. Lloyd George and Clemenceau sensed this, of course, and resented Wilson's poking his moralistic nose in where centuries of European squabbles had to be considered. Wilson's tragedy was that his 14th point, the League of Nations, was the one that everybody at the conference tables agreed on first; back home, it would ultimately be rejected by an isolationist-minded Congress. Walworth's contribution to the history of the conference is in his meticulous laying out of the daily debates over all the crucial issues. The story has been told before, but never in such a detailed manner. Heavily foot-nooted, his work is sure to become a staple of university surveys of European and American History.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1985
Publisher: Norton