THE YEARS OF OPPORTUNITY: The League of Nations 1920-1926 by Byron Dexter

THE YEARS OF OPPORTUNITY: The League of Nations 1920-1926

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The League seems very far away, its problems (Corfu, Mosul, Upper Silesia) diminutive, and its dismal failure a foregone conclusion. This book, however, attempts to show ""how interesting, how fresh, how heartening even"" is its story. Accordingly, Mr. Dexter argues that the League did have a chance of success, despite U.S. dissociation--and that the Versailles Treaty ""was, in the main, a fair and moderate settlement, well worth supporting."" The League, he claims, was essentially European and defensive in character. It was sabotaged by Britain's 1925 choice to disengage herself from the Continent, and confine herself to mediation between France and Germany, thus clearing a path for the Nazis. The idea of a single aggressor cancelling possibilities of peace, balked only by ""collective security"" on the part of the virtuous nations, is carried over in Dexter's analysis of the U.N., with Russia cast in Germany's former role. The U.N. is seldom mentioned explicitly after the introduction, but an historical perspective on its capabilities is the central purpose, of this over-polarized, controversial volume.

Pub Date: Nov. 29th, 1967
Publisher: Viking