1917: War, Peace, and Revolution
Although Europe had already been waging the Great War for over two years, in January of 1917 the United States still had not decided how or if they should be involved. President Wilson endured pressure from every side, to take this course of action or that, or none at all. Germany, trying to deal a conclusive blow before the US joined, discussed intensifying its U-boat offensive. Other nations had similar conundrums. And that was just in January. This pivotal year saw huge changes and swings of fortune. Serious students of World War I will be startled as they read about the various viewpoints and governments’ internal wranglings, not to mention the leaders’ personal hesitations or hawkishness. However, serious students are the most likely audience for this particular tome. It is extremely detailed and well-researched, but all the detail comes with a loss of narrative drama. The text is scholarly and not engaging to a lay reader. This is an excellent resource for examining the politics and even for studying how important decisions were made and how such can be influenced even now, but it will be a rough read for any but the most dedicated World War I aficionado.
Oxford University Press