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America's Greatest Blunder: The Fateful…
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America's Greatest Blunder: The Fateful Decision to Enter World War…

by Burton Yale Pines

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Grab your note pad, because when you start reading this refreshing treatment of World War One History, you'll want to be able to reference it again and again. America's Greatest Blunder is a thoroughly researched work presenting a critical analysis that is easy to read and digest.

I've always been fascinated with the complexities of history that resulted in the human tragedy that took place in the trenches during those years. I thought I'd read most of the authoritative works on the subject, of which most were sited in the author's bold and speculative analysis of the period. America's Greatest Blunder should be required reading at the National Defense University, the Service War Colleges, and U.S. State Department Foreign Service Institute.

From the outset Pines admits that the premise of this latest work is speculative. He boldly states that had America not blundered into declaring war against Germany on 6 April 1917, the outcomes of the 20th Century would have been different and possibly less traumatic for humanity on the whole. Pines presents a chronology of events from the very beginning when Arch Duke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, all the way through to the end when President Wilson was unable to get the United States Congress to ratify the Treaty of Versailles.

Throughout the presentation of this work, Pines supports his theory with solid evidence and a thoroughly researched rationale. Unlike many historical works, Pines explains the "why" and "how" behind the key events that shaped the twentieth century. Age-old lessons of history come through loud and clear. For example, the single issue President Wilson offered congress in seeking a vote to declare war against Germany was the belligerent's use of "unrestricted submarine warfare" against American shipping. Pines reminds us that The United States had no Vital National Interests at stake and that the country was under no direct threat.

At the conclusion, it may seem that the author was pretty rough on President Woodrow Wilson's execution of foreign policy. However, the points made on the heels of such a well-supported work are, in retrospect, thought provoking. The argument being that Wilson's primary reason for caving in and abandoning his neutrality stance was to gain a position of influence while negotiating the terms of peace. In Wilson's case he wanted "peace without victory." The irony was that he mortgaged those principles for his agenda of establishing a "League of Nations." In the end, history continued to play out. What occurred was in Mr. Pines's final analysis, just the opposite by phrasing the result as a "victory without peace."

I highly recommend America's Greatest Blunder as a "must read" not only for students of foreign policy and academicians of history, but for the casual reader as well. This work has an extensive bibliography and the evidence the author uses to support each of his points is thoroughly sited. However, the author's writing style is smooth and easy to follow making the reading experience refreshing and enjoyable. ( )
  PDXAuthor | Nov 5, 2013 |
What would have happened if World War II hadn’t occurred? What if there were circumstances or actions that could have been taken to prevent this from taking place, and thereby preventing a century destined to be entrenched in conflict, war, and tragedy?

With keen observation from a lifetime of experience and a plethora of research, Burton Pines presents a view demonstrating how these catastrophic events and more could have been avoided by one key factor: America entering into World War I. By allying with Britain and France, America set the stage for a series of events that would ultimately propel the country - and the world - into a turbulent and bloody century.

Thoroughly researched and still relevant as the United States continues to use its influence in international affairs, Pines explains the catalyst of past events and gives readers “America’s Greatest Blunder” as a mirror to a conflicted history and as a stirring message of caution for the future. ( )
  TwoHarbors | Oct 17, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 098914870X, Paperback)

Entering World War One against Germany was America's greatest blunder of the 20th century. America had no reason to join the 3-year-old struggle. By sending two million doughboys to the Western Front, America shattered the battlefield stalemate, allowing Britain and France to impose a devastating peace on Germany, thus igniting toxic German cries for revenge. Absent America's entry into the war, the exhausted combatants would have sought a peace of compromise. There would have been no victor, no vanquished, no Versailles Treaty, no German demands for revenge, no Hitler and surely no World War II and even no Cold War. The tale of how America stumbled into war is told by America's Greatest Blunder. It chronicles America's journey from sensible neutrality to its war declaration. It then describes how legions of doughboys won the war, giving victory to Britain and France - thus launching the young century on its course of decades of unprecedented violence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:50 -0400)

A detailed look at one of history's greatest turning points.

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