Finished Margaret MacMillan's Peacemakers.
Having finished it I just want to go back and read it all over again. A wonderful, interesting, well written, thought-provoking book. As all good books should, this tome makes me want to read more on the subject (if anyone knows another good work on the Treaty of Versailles please let me know).
The conclusion chapter could have been a little longer, but that is my only real gripe.
Anyone interested in World War I and II should read this. It is pleasing to see three of the most oft repeated and tired, lazy comments and accusations about the Treaty thoroughly demolished - specifically:
a) the ridiculously simplistic idea that Versailles caused World War II
b) the sweeping statement that the British and particularly the French were the cause of the problems and that if only they had listended to the Americans all would have been right.
c) Versailles created Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
MacMillan spares no one, French, British, American, Italian, or anyone else. She makes clear that each power had their own needs and requirements, fears and hopes, and that within each power, there was rarely a unified voice - not to mention the court of public opinion which those who dealt with the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars never had to face in the same way - particularly difficult if you are from a democracy....
Not least is the fact that at the end of the day we are talking about human beings, with their individual strengths and weaknesses, and personal prejudices that could affect, to a surprising degree, whether they supported a view point or worked against it.
Great review ... on my list to read asap
I hope you won't be disappointed - I don't think you will
22nd November 1944 - The British Pacific Fleet is born (temporary avatar changes to commemorate the ships and aircraft). HM Ships Formidable, Illustrious, Victorious