A revealing look at the powerful lessons the Treaty of Versailles has for us today. Veteran correspondent David Andelman offers a compelling new perspective on the origin of many of today's most critical international issues. He turns the spotlight on the many errors committed by World War I peacemakers that ultimately led to crises from Iraq to Kosovo and wars from the Middle East to Vietnam. He focuses, too, on the small nations and minor players at Versailles, including figures such as Ho Chi Minh and Charles de Gaulle, who would later become boldfaced names. With a cautionary message for us today, he shows how world leaders dismissed repeated warnings from their experts and laid the groundwork for a host of catastrophic events.
What made the experience of listening to A Shattered Peace the most enjoyable?
The vivid and exciting narration.
What did you like best about this story?
The excitement, building to a known, but nevertheless compelling climax.
Which scene was your favorite?
The opening scene in the study of Woodrow Wilson
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Sets the stage for today's world as we know it !
Like Thomas Friedman, David Andelman is another NY Times "journalist" in search of the single unified theory of something, in this case of all history since 1919 and the Treaty of Versailles. While some of Andelman's analysis is insightful, he stretches his all-encompassing view that the post-war settlement by the Great Powers is the root of all modern evil. Thus, he lays the history of post-1945 Vietnam, Korea, and China to the decisions made and not made in Paris. His belief is that almost every region of the world was affected by Versailles - I'm surprised he left out Latin America.
On a minor note, Andelman seems obsessed by "Jews". I lost count of how many people he described as "a Jew from ..." The only other person whose religion he emphasized was the steretype of "Woodrow Wilson and his Calvinist upbringing". I don't know what Andelman's point was in mentioning who was Jewish. He also treats Jews as a nationality in Europe, rather than a religion. Thus he describes Yugoslavia as consisting of 45% Serbs, 20% Croats, 11% Slovenes... and 4% Jews. Yet when he talks about religion in Yugoslavia, he says it was rent by three religions - Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Muslim.
Lastly, Andelman should have sprung for someone else to narrate his book. Whenever he quotes someone, he speeds up to 45 rpm and goes into a nasal staccato that reminds me of Eddie Murphy doing his imitation of a white doctor.
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