An entertaining and clearly presented capsulation of world events occurring in the disruptive 12 months following the end of WW I. Ranging across the world, from the struggles of Irishmen bent on achieving Home Rule and Bolsheviks and Mensheviks locked in conflict for the control of Russia, to suffragettes lighting bonfires in front of the White House and French mass-murderer Landru disposing of his victims in his suburban kitchen stove, Klingaman keeps the diverse elements of his story spinning with all the aplomb of a master juggler. The cast of characters in this sweeping panorama is immense. Mahatma Gandhi and Zelda Fitzgerald, Mary Pickford and Woodrow Wilson, Rosa Luxemburg and Jack Dempsey, plus scores of others, all make appearances, and their stories are invariably engrossing in the author's accomplished hands. Readers will be struck by how many of the issues confronting both the world's leaders and their many followers in 1919 remain unresolved even today. Arab-Jewish tensions were high; Dublin resounded to gunfire and the tramp of English boots; scandals were rocking the sports world; use of drugs was widespread; the ""Communist threat"" was an obsessive concern throughout the West. Klingaman's subtitle is aptly chosen. Written with a liveliness and anecdotal variety too often missing in historical summaries of this type, this is a volume highly recommended for anyone seeking some of the answers to that puzzler, ""How did we get in this situation?