After World War One: Remaking Europe: Several Realistic Takes on the Paris Peace Comments

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Council of Four at the WWI Paris peace conference, May 27, 1919.

(L – R) Prime Minister David Lloyd George of Great Britain, Premier Vittorio Orlando of Italy, French Premier Georges Clemenceau, President Woodrow Wilson–the first President of the US to visit Europe while in office

(Official US Army Signal Corps photo by Edward N. Jackson)

Below from  “The Long Shadow: the Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century” by David Reynolds (W.W. Norton, New York, 2013). This is a good book if you want to familiarize yourself with the impact on the Western world of the First World War. If you already know the subject, you won’t find much new information in this book. Sort of rehash of the standard history. However, he makes some interesting observations to wit:

“The statesmen in Paris were not… architects of a new Europe…but more like firefighters desperately trying to pour water on the flames. Maps and statistics were woefully inadequate…competing states dressed up demographic evidence to their own advantage….As Wilson and his advisers began to realize, poring over their beautiful maps in the elegant Hotel Murat, neat, clean lines cold not be drawn through ethnically mixed regions….

On one occasion she walked into one of the elegant rooms in the hotel and observed her husband, the President of the United States, on his hands and kn

 

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President Woodrow Wilson, seated at desk with his wife, Edith Bolling Galt, standing at his side. First posed picture after Mr. Wilson’s illness, White House, June 1920. Mrs. Wilson holds a document while the President adds his signature. [Wilson had a severe stroke in October of 1919]

(June 1920 Source Library of Congress)

Edith Wilson was the President’s young second wife. They married in 1915. She was then 43 and both had been married previously and both had lost their spouses.  The marriage did not last long because Wilson died in March of 1921. Edith Wilson never re-married and remained in the home she had shared with Wilson in Washington DC until her death in 1961.

 

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/