Auto boutiques-francophones Simple and secure cloud storage Personal Care Cook All-New Kindle Paperwhite Explore the Amazon.ca Vinyl LP Records Store Fall Tools

Customer Reviews

82
4.4 out of 5 stars
Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$18.93+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on August 25, 2015
Very authoritative. Margaret MacMillan lays open the historical record for all to see. Great book in excellent condition. Great vendor.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2015
Must read ! I tell all my friends.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on April 15, 2015
This exceptionally informative and interesting book should be required reading for anyone who watches the news. I occasionally had the sense when reading this book that I finally understood the polictical geography of Europe and it was somewhat different than what I had imagined.

I think that people of my generation perceive the political map of the world as it existed in the years before the Second World War as the default or natural state of affairs--later changes appear to be derivative and somehow less natural. It seldom occurs to us that political boundaries in Europe have been in a continual state of flux throughout modern times. Many of the European political boundaries that existed in the thirties were drawn in the Treaty of Versailles that was negotiated (and sometimes dictated) at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. this book is about the conferernce and how it dealt with the shrinkage of Germany and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, among many other territorial changes in other parts of the world.

The portraits of the principal protagonists (Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George, and Vittorio Orlando) are entertainingly drawn, and there are excellent cameo appearances by lesser and sometimes exotic figures from around the world. The descriptions of the many peronalities are very entertaining

Here, in no particular order, are some of the conclusions of this work. Wilson's 14 points elevated the tone of moral discourse, increased nationalist aspirations, and was fundamentally unworkable. The patchwork and intermixture of ethnic, linguistic, and religoius groups around the world usually meant that political boundaries could not be drawn without making some groups unhappy. Small countries behaved as selfishly, greedily, and insensitively as larger countries; the same was true for minorities. The major powers adopted a eurocentric view of the world. The Treaty of Versailles represtented compromises among the national self-interests of the victorious countries (weighted by the amount of blood and treasure lost in the war, the importance of the particular issue at hand to one of the four countries concerned, and the amount of the particular country's post-war military power). The French were justifiably afraid of a recovered Germany and everyone was afraid of the Bolsheviks. The English threw in their lot with the Americans. As the conference continued, the amount of influence of its decisions steadily declined with the demobilization of the armies - decisions were sometimes made that were unenforceable or easily reversed by the locals.

The conferees were certainly conscientious. Nevertheless, the complexity of the very many decisions that had to be made defied the limitations of the human intellect. Decisions were sometimes influenced by wishful thinking, ignorance of local conditions, the propaganda of particular groups, the personalities of particular leaders, shocking publicized incidents, and sheer mental exhaustion. In the end, the leaders behaved like policitical and bureaucratic leaders do everywhere when making complex decisions under extreme time pressure - according to an informal mixture of expediency, unexamined preconceptions, mutual social influence and satisfiscing.

For more of my reviews go to http://vernquinsey.weebly.com/
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2014
Amazing insights. Rings so true (coming from Easter Europe)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2014
Excellent service -everyone in North America should read this book. Should be a High School text book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2014
A must read!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2014
I read the book after having heard much about it. I found the work lacking and the author's conclusions somewhat forced. It seemed that she is having an agenda. One of the most glaring shortcomings is her claim that Adolf Hitler would have come around anyway even if the Versailles treaty had been fairer towards the Germans. For a historian of MacMillan's statue such a conclusion is simply unbecoming. After all, it is a generally accepted fact that without Versailles the Nazis would never had risen. Even if one accepts that Hitler would have emerged in German post WWI politics this does not mean that he would have come to power, or even that the Nazi party would have risen to a prominent position. That was only possible because of the Versailles treaty. It appears the author is trying to whitewash her famous relative Lloyd George who greatly contributed to the treaty!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2014
For those who, like me, thought that The Treaty of Versailles was about all there was to the Paris 1919 Peace Conference, this is a book for you. Margaret Macmillan presents a complete but complex picture of the work and achievements of the Big Three (Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau) whose work was to draw a new World out of the destruction of the old.

The list of country who tried to gain territory, influence and power is endless. Greece, Italy, Yougoslavia, Poland, Bulgaria, Albania, Japan and so on all tried to "pull the blanket" on their side. Even states that were defeated, like Turkey or Hungary, had huge demands.

Negociating with all those beggars, who shamelessly exaggerated in order to gain something or steal from their neighboring country must have been a physical and emotional ordeal for the Peacemakers. I often wonder, reading the book, how in the world Lloyd George and Wilson were able to get through all this. The temptation to leave Paris must have been almost overwhelming.

After going through those exhausting negociations, the Peacemaker had to still deal with Germany. The chapter recalling what those poor German representatives had to endure in order to sign the Treaty in the Hall of Mirrors is worth the time you'll invest in reading the whole of the book all by itself.

I will of course recommend this fine book for any lover of political or sociological history, but be warn, it will take more than a single reading to digest it all.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2014
I' ve only finished a little over 50% of this book. It is excellent reading. I love historical documents but it takes me a long time to finish a book.

I look forward to reading the second book my Margaret MacMillan.

Bernadette Daigle
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2013
A great reference book if you want to understand the tensions and conflicts that have occurred and are still on-going. Well researched and wide ranging.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The War That Ended Peace: The Road To 1914
The War That Ended Peace: The Road To 1914 by Margaret MacMillan (Paperback - July 29 2014)
CDN$ 17.83

The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I
The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I by Barbara W. Tuchman (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 3 2004)
CDN$ 10.43

The Uses and Abuses of History
The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret MacMillan (Paperback - March 17 2009)
CDN$ 11.68