* 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)
"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.
"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