1917 Lenin, Wilson, and the birth of the new world disorder

Arthur Herman, 1956-

Book - 2017

"How did two men move the world away from wars for land and treasure to wars over ideas and ideologies--a change that would go on to kill millions? In April 1917, Woodrow Wilson--champion of American democracy but also of segregation, advocate for free trade and a new world order based on freedom and justice--thrust the United States into the First World War in order to make the 'world safe for democracy'--only to see his dreams for a liberal international system dissolve into cha...os, bloodshed, and betrayal. That October Vladimir Lenin--communist revolutionary and advocate for class war and 'dictatorship of the proletariat'--would overthrow Russia's earlier democratic revolution that had toppled the powerful czar, all in the name of liberating humanity--and instead would set up the most repressive totalitarian regime in history, the Soviet Union. In this incisive, fast-paced history, ... bestselling author Arthur Herman brilliantly reveals how Lenin and Wilson rewrote the rules of modern geopolitics. Prior to and through the end of World War I, countries marched into war only to advance or protect their national interests. After World War I, countries began going to war over ideas. Together Lenin and Wilson unleashed the disruptive ideologies that would sweep the world, from nationalism and globalism to Communism and terrorism, and that continue to shape our world today. Our new world disorder is the legacy left by Wilson and Lenin, and their visions of the perfectibility of man. One hundred years later, we still sit on the powder keg they first set the detonator to, through war and revolution."--Dust jacket flap.

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

940.3/Herman
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 940.3/Herman Checked In
Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2017]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xii, 480 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 433-450) and index.
ISBN
9780062570888
0062570889
Main Author
Arthur Herman, 1956- (author)
  • Prologue: A world on fire
  • The German note
  • Russia and America confront a world war
  • Tommy and Volodya
  • Neutrality at bay
  • Break point
  • President Wilson goes to war, Lenin goes to the Finland Station
  • Ruptures, mutinies, and convoys
  • Mr. Wilson's war
  • Summer of discontent
  • American leviathan
  • Russia on the brink
  • Hinge of fates
  • 1918: war and peace and war again
  • 1919: grand illusions
  • Last act.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Herman finds similarities, though stretches to find some of them, in the seemingly very different personalities of Vladimir Lenin and Woodrow Wilson. Both were "dreamers" and stubborn idealists, and both were instrumental in shaping the new world, through America's entry into WWI and the Russian Revolution. With the coming of the war, Great Britain had high expectations that the U.S. would abandon its neutrality stance and join the war on Britain's side. The author of Gandhi & Churchill (2008) returns here to the dual-biography approach, jumping from location to location and, in its early stages, from time to time, which adds to the account's drama and suspense. The postwar world hinged on the principle of self-determination of peoples, but the different interpretations of that principle caused the post-1917 "disorder," which is the critical component of the author's argument linking Wilson and Lenin. Herman covers some well-trod ground here, but his thesis does provide a new way of seeing the period. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Choice Reviews

Herman (senior fellow, Hudson Institute) has written a unique, groundbreaking history of the US entry into WW I under Woodrow Wilson and compares it with the Bolshevik Revolution under Lenin. Historians have many times discredited Wilson for the almost messianic way he finally overcame his objections to entering WW I and then his stubborn refusal to recognize flaws in the combined Versailles Peace Treaty and League of Nations. They also many times criticized Lenin for his overly aggressive and bloodthirsty takeover of post-czarist Russia at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives. Herman sees merit in some of Wilson's "enemies"—Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge. He feels Wilson entered the war late and that Lodge's "reservations" to the treaty/league made more sense than some of Wilson's oblique arguments. Herman argues that Lenin at times was not as strong or as in control of events as it appeared and shows that both Trotsky and Stalin would have been as bloodthirsty, as the later terror demonstrated. Nonetheless, based on the perspective of current world history, Herman feels both Lenin and Wilson were real visionaries of the titanic modern struggle the world has since undergone and deserve, eventually, their day in court, as he admirably presents in this monumental book. Summing Up: Essential. Graduate students/faculty/professionals.--A. M. Mayer, College of Staten IslandAndrew Mark MayerCollege of Staten Island Andrew Mark Mayer Choice Reviews 55:10 June 2018 Copyright 2018 American Library Association.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Author of the New York Times best seller How the Scots Invented the Modern World and the Pulitzer Prize finalist Gandhi and Churchill, Herman tells the story of the crucial year 1917 by comparing and contrasting two significant leaders of the era: Vladimir Lenin and Woodrow Wilson. He also argues that an intense rivalry between the two men (who never met) significantly influenced geopolitics at the time—and for decades to come. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Historian Herman (senior fellow, Hudson Inst.; Douglas MacArthur) argues that both U.S. President Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924) and Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924) were, to a degree, idealists who viewed the European political order, mired in war, as corrupt and unredeemable. In 1917, each man sought to remake that order. Wilson envisioned a peaceful revolution in which people lived free from violence and want with the right to govern one's self. Lenin sought class warfare, led by a revolutionary elite ruling through violence and fear, and with this revolution spreading beyond the borders of individual countries. According to Herman, the fundamental differences in these two worldviews shaped the character of the superpowers that emerged and influenced the course of World War II and the Cold War. VERDICT The pairing of these two diametrically opposed figures into one biography makes this illuminating read for anybody interested in World War I, the new political order it spawned, and the failures that led to the rise of Nazism and the horrors of World War II.—Chad E. Statler, Lakeland Comm. Coll., Kirtland, OH Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The Pulitzer-finalist author of Gandhi and Churchill chronicles the intertwined stories of consequential world leaders Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin, revealing unexpected commonalities between the two men and their enduring influence on today's world. 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Chronicles the intertwined stories of Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin, revealing how their crucial decisions changed world politics and spread disruptive ideologies that continue to influence the modern world.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

How did two men move the world away from wars for land and treasure to wars over ideas and ideologies—a change that would go on to kill millions?In April 1917, Woodrow Wilson—champion of American democracy but also of segregation, advocate for free trade and a new world order based on freedom and justice—thrust the United States into the First World War in order to make the “world safe for democracy”—only to see his dreams for a liberal international system dissolve into chaos, bloodshed, and betrayal.That October, Vladimir Lenin—communist revolutionary and advocate for class war and “dictatorship of the proletariat”—would overthrow Russia’s earlier democratic revolution that had toppled the powerful czar, all in the name of liberating humanity—and instead would set up the most repressive totalitarian regime in history, the Soviet Union. In this incisive, fast-paced history, the New York Times bestselling author Arthur Herman brilliantly reveals how Lenin and Wilson rewrote the rules of modern geopolitics. Prior to and through the end of World War I, countries marched into war only to advance or protect their national interests. After World War I, countries began going to war over ideas. Together Lenin and Wilson unleashed the disruptive ideologies that would sweep the world, from nationalism and globalism to Communism and terrorism, and that continue to shape our world today.Our new world disorder is the legacy left by Wilson and Lenin, and their visions of the perfectibility of man. One hundred years later, we still sit on the powder keg they first set the detonator to, through war and revolution.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

How did two men move the world away from wars for land and treasure to wars over ideas and ideologies'a change that would go on to kill millions?In April 1917, Woodrow Wilson'champion of American democracy but also of segregation, advocate for free trade and a new world order based on freedom and justice'thrust the United States into the First World War in order to make the 'world safe for democracy''only to see his dreams for a liberal international system dissolve into chaos, bloodshed, and betrayal.That October, Vladimir Lenin'communist revolutionary and advocate for class war and 'dictatorship of the proletariat''would overthrow Russia's earlier democratic revolution that had toppled the powerful czar, all in the name of liberating humanity'and instead would set up the most repressive totalitarian regime in history, the Soviet Union. In this incisive, fast-paced history, the New York Times bestselling author Arthur Herman brilliantly reveals how Lenin and Wilson rewrote the rules of modern geopolitics. Prior to and through the end of World War I, countries marched into war only to advance or protect their national interests. After World War I, countries began going to war over ideas. Together Lenin and Wilson unleashed the disruptive ideologies that would sweep the world, from nationalism and globalism to Communism and terrorism, and that continue to shape our world today.Our new world disorder is the legacy left by Wilson and Lenin, and their visions of the perfectibility of man. One hundred years later, we still sit on the powder keg they first set the detonator to, through war and revolution.