Paris 1919 --- by --- Margaret Macmillan.
Ordinarily I am a frequent reader of history. Ordinarily it doesn’t matter if the history is Roman, medieval, or modern. I even read historical fiction with great delight. Ordinarily, once a work of history gets its talons into me I don’t stop until the entire book has been devoured. Ordinarily. But not so with this book. It barely passed the 50 test. In my opinion, this book progressed much too slowly, concerned itself with such a level of detail as to border on tedium. Ordinarily I wouldn’t abandon a book like this. Ordinarily.
i find it interesting. i think if you wanted to you could read it in one night if you were determined enough and liked it.
MacMillan shows the process of writing up the peace treaty of 1919. She thoroughly gives the views of each country...what was wanted, the arguments given, and the gains or losses for a land bid. She accomplishes this goal by giving a chapter for each country that was involved. This book, therefore, would be useful when a history student needs to defend or present the views of a particular country on the Peace of Versailles, especially the Eastern European countries as history books on these countries are not widely available to students. MacMillan includes maps of the disputed areas and Wilson's 14 Points, but to read the Treaty of Versailles or even portions of it, look elsewhere. She does, however, embed in the chapters some wordings/phrases/sentences from the first draft of the Treaty, but, because the bickering amongst the 4 leaders resulted in changes to these statements, it requires much reading to pull out the final "draft" of the Treaty from these chapters. Good bibliography and notes should students wish to pursue these works. This book is very readable. MacMillan makes the political leaders come alive with their descriptions, quirks, opinions, and quotes. Her concluding chapter is an interesting one given how all the countries felt about the Treaty. I am glad I read it.
I was disappointed with this book given all the rewards it won. There is evidence of an anti German and anti Serbian bias. For example Ms. MacMillan quotes Churchill "the Balkans produce more History they can consume." This reference could easily apply to Britain as well given how it conquered so many countries. Reinforcing stereotypes in a History book is neither helpful nor informative.
While I'm reading this for my History class, and am not finished at this point I must say- very readable, and almost enjoyable. Even with my hate for history. She's able to take the history of it all and be a story teller. However, it's not an all in one night book, or even a few nights. Each page takes a while to read in itself.
A very readable history. I would advise readers to make sure they know their geography before begining. Macmillan assumea that you arefamiliar with terms like Balkans, Baltics, Caucasus, Crimea, Ottoman Empire, and Prussia for examples, as well as countries and major cities.
very insightful look at post colonial european relations
proposed title for October 2010
This gives a different insight into the end of the first world war. It shows what all sides were trying to get for themselves out of the peace talks and what they did actually get.
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