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A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today Hardcover – October 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0471788980 ISBN-10: 0471788988 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471788988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471788980
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

* The Versailles peace conference, held between the Allied victorious powers and Germany following World War I, attempted to create a lasting peace-and parcel out the world. The great powers felt that they should inherit much of it; inhabitants of the countries to be parceled out felt otherwise. The shortsightedness of the conferees produced a world that fragmented in unexpected ways and arguably generated a century of continuous conflict. With chapters on some of those present, such as the young Ho Chi Min, on the shared goals of Emir Feisal and Chaim Weizmann, and on the abortive stab at making peace in revolutionary Russia, Andelman (executive editor, Forbes.com ) casts a bitter light on the rest of the 20th century. The author's constant theme is that the failures of the Versailles conference laid the groundwork for World War II, the iron curtain, the Vietnam War, the various Middle East conflicts, and the Balkan wars. Andelman's sprightly view of the peace process, the major and minor players, and the decades-later outcomes is an excellent read that will enhance most history collections. Recommended for most subject collections.
—Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS (Library Journal, October 15, 2007)

""...fascinating...a challenging and courageous study which highlights the connection between the critical post-war period and the George W. Bush administration's..."" (opendemocracy.net, Sunday 11th November 2007)

Review

"The peace settlements that followed World War I have recently come back into focus as one of the dominant factors shaping the modern world. The Balkans, the Middle East, Iraq, Turkey and parts of Africa all owe their present-day problems, in part, to these negotiations. David Andelman brings it all back to life – the lofty ideals, the ugly compromises, the larger-than-life personalities who came to Paris in 1919. And he links that far-away diplomatic dance to present day problems that illuminates our troubled times. A tremendous addition to this vitally important subject."
—Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

"The failed peace settlement following the Great War of 1914-1918 had been the subject of many fine books. In many respects, David Andelman’s Shattered Peace is the best of these. It is compact and compellingly written. Moreover, it explains more clearly than any other work how the failure of peacemaking in 1919 shaped later history and, indeed, shapes our own era."
—Prof. Ernest R. May, Charles Warren Professor of American History, Harvard University

"We tend to think of the negotiations at Versailles in 1919 as a bungled business that left the First World War a tangle of loose ends, to be tied up by the victors of World War II. It is the power and fascination of David Andelman’s new book A Shattered Peace that he shows us – with the clarity of a first-rate reporter and the drama and detail at the command of a first-rate novelist – that we are all still enmeshed in those loose ends, the inheritors of a mess left by the hasty, casual dispensation of fragments of nations inhabited by millions of people whose hopes were maimed and whose lives were often forfeit. By focusing not on the giant participants – France, Britain, Italy and the United States – but rather on what seemed to them joke nations and penny-ante fake diplomats, Andelman brings us to Korea, to Vietnam, to the Persian gulf, and to Iraq in our own vexed era. His story is a bitter and bleak one; it is also alive with color, conflict, and interesting (to say the least) people. We could not find a better guide to a time that somehow seems to grow larger and closer even as it reaches beyond living memory."
—Richard Snow, editor in chief, American Heritage

"The peace settlements that followed World War I have recently come back into focus as one of the dominant factors shaping the modern world. The Balkans, the Middle East, Iraq, Turkey and parts of Africa all owe their present-day problems, in part, to these negotiations. David Andelman brings it all back to life - the lofty ideals, the ugly compromises, the larger-than-life personalities who came to Paris in 1919. And he links that far-away diplomatic dance to present day problems that illuminates our troubled times. A tremendous addition to this vitally important subject.
—Ambassador Holbrooke

"The peace conference in Paris at the end of World War I was the first and last moment of pure hope for peace in the history of world affairs. Our President, Woodrow Wilson, was the sorcerer for this hope, and he kindled great expectations in people everywhere. David Andelman, a classic reporter and story teller, tells this fascinating tale of hope falling finally and forever on the shoals of naïveté and hard-headed cynicism."
—Leslie H. Gelb, former columnist for the New York Times, is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations


More About the Author

David A. Andelman is the Editor of World Policy Journal, the 25-year-old foreign policy magazine published by the World Policy Institute. Previously, he served as Executive Editor of Forbes.com, the world's largest business and financial website after serving as Business Editor of The New York Daily News. This followed five years he spent as news editor of Bloomberg News and Bloomberg.com. For 12 years he was a domestic and foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He served in various posts in New York and Washington, as Southeast Asia bureau chief, based in Bangkok, then East European bureau chief, based in Belgrade. He then moved to CBS News where he served for seven years as Paris Correspondent, traveling through and reporting from more than 60 countries. He served for two years as Washington Correspondent for CNBC before moving to Bloomberg. He is the author of three books - The Peacemakers, published by Harper & Row; The Fourth World War, published by William Morrow, which he co-authored with the Count de Marenches, long-time head of French intelligence; and A Shattered Peace: Versailles, 1919 and the Price We Pay Today, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2007. Andelman has written for such publications as Harpers, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is a member of the Century Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Grolier Club, the National Press Club, and is president-emeritus of the Overseas Press Club and member of its board of governors. He recently re-launched his career as a SAG/AFTRA-member voiceover artist.

Customer Reviews

It is good reading even if you don't want a lesson.
Long Distance Biker
This is an accessible read and an interesting look at the world's recent history.
Julia Kadison
Excellent book, excellently written, if a little mis-titled.
Conor Cunneen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joseph F. Birchmeier on November 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author's stated purpose for this book is to examine the impact of the Treaty of Versailles on the Middle East (to include Iraq), the Far East and the Balkans. I think that he does a wonderful job of providing insight into how decisions that came about during the conference in Paris has impacted each of these areas of the world to the present day. His inclusion of lesser known players, their opinions, and thier interactions with the other participants in the conference, and even their social life during the conference is entertaining, easy to read, and adds a great deal to the book. At the end of the book I had a clear picture of how the decisions were arrived at in Paris and thier continuing impacts.
I have only one criticism of the book. The author presents different options that were available to the participants of the conference for solving the issues in each of these areas of the world - but does not provide any analysis for the feasibility of taking these different options. I would have liked to have heard the author's opinions as to: How many Soldiers would have been needed to enforce these different options? How much money and other resources would have been required to facililiate these different options? And would these different options have prevented or lessened the amount of bloodshed that the world has witnessed since this treaty was completed? I think this type of analysis would add to the book's value and make what seems to be in many cases obvious solutions to the issues at hand during the peace conference not quite as appealing or desireable given the realities of the times (specifically that the world was trying to recover from a just finished WWI).
Highly recommend this book however, it contains many valuable points for consideration and is a page-turner.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Conor Cunneen on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book, excellently written, if a little mis-titled.

David Andelman has written a book which presents very cogently how the debacle of Versailles 1919 still impacts the world today. The reason why I suggest the book is mis-titled is because the author does not take us in depth into the negotiations which took place at Versailles. Instead, he paints a very vivid picture of the key players, countries and geo-politics that prefaced Versailles and World War I.

In presenting these well crafted pictures, he shows that to some extent, Versailles was a done deal almost before the event. "Across the region, forces of all sides were seeking to establish fait accomplis - bringing further misery, death, and destruction to millions of people."

The level of intrigue, secret agreements and downright Machiavellian behavior which the major and some minor powers involved themselves in the years prior to 1919 is mind boggling. Maybe the saddest element of this book is that many of the key parties understood, even as they were negotiating the treaty that in the words of a disappointed T.E. Lawrence "There will be hell to pay."
There has been hell to pay - World War II, Vietnam, Yugoslavia / Bosnia / Croatia, the Japanese involvement in WWII can all be traced to the Shattered Peace.

Andelman makes it quite clear that three things motivated the major parties
Colonialism, for instance "The view of Allied Statesmen was that Arabs ... needed to be ruled by Europeans for their own benefit";
Revenge and
Ensuring Germany would never be a power again.

The terrible irony of course is that the terms imposed on the German people virtually ensured Europe would be at war again within two decades which is not something that was unexpected.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By EPlend on February 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was actually assigned for a class I have. It is a good book. Unique look at the post-WWI peace process. Things it did, and particularly the things it failed to do. Definitely a good read. As a caveat, the writer is a journalist, not an historian. He has a definite point of view, so don't mistake his opinion as gospel. That is the only drawback to this excellent book. Its a very broad look at the peace, looking at people impacted from Eastern Europe to the Middle East. Profiles on characters involved are quite good. I would highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on February 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Andelman's thesis - that the problems and tragedies of the 20th century lay squarely at the feet of the Big Four - is hardly a new idea. Still, the arrogance, hubris and self-righteousness of the leaders of the victorious nations following World War I is appalling.

Andelman's attention isn't directed towards Germany's treatment at the Paris Peace, but rather he examines the dismantling of the other Central Powers: Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Even today this part of the world isn't well understood by non-specialists, this all the more true last century, many briefs literally lifted from encyclopedias as Clemenceau and Lloyd-George began redrawing the map of central Europe and the Near East. As Andelman shows, the decisons made the spring and summer of 1919 were ridiculously cavalier. Matters of course were complicated by the wildly divergent visions the Big Four had for the world: Wilson oblivious to the impact his idea of self-determination had to the "little peoples" of the world, Lloyd-George and Clemenceau each seeking to slice out their share of what they saw as the spoils of war, everyone worried about the spread of Bolsehvism. The result was a politically unsustanable peace that was ethnographcially flawed and was therefore the roots of many contemporary problems: the sectarian strife in eastern Iraq between Shi'ii and Sunni, the Israeli-Palestinian problem, the Balkan genocide of the 1990s. In connecting the dots of these recent tragedies to the origins at Versailles is the heart - and strength - of the book. In many respects, _A Shattered Peace_ is similar to
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