1917 War, peace, and revolution

D. 1954- Stevenson

Book - 2017

"1917 was a year of calamitous events, and one of pivotal importance in the development of the First World War. In 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, leading historian of World War I David Stevenson examines this crucial year in context and illuminates the century that followed. He shows how in this one year the war was transformed, but also what drove the conflict onwards and how it continued to escalate. Two developments in particular--the Russian Revolution and American intervention--had ...worldwide repercussions. Offering a close examination of the key decisions, David Stevenson considers Germanys campaign of 'unrestricted' submarine warfare, America's declaration of war in response, and Britain's frustration of German strategy by adopting the convoy system, as well as why (paradoxically) the military and political stalemate in Europe persisted. Focusing on the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, on the disastrous spring offensive that plunged the French army into mutiny, on the summer attacks that undermined the moderate Provisional Government in Russia and exposed Italy to national humiliation at Caporetto, and on the British decision for the ill-fated Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), 1917 offers a truly international understanding of events. The failed attempts to end the wat by negotiation further clarify the underlying forces that prolonged it. David Stevenson also analyzes the global consequences of the year's developments, describing how countries such as Brazil and China joined the belligerents, how Britain offered 'responsible government' to India, and the Allies promised a Jewish national home in Palestine. Blending political and military history, and moving from capital to capital and between the cabinet chamber and the battle front, the book highlights the often tumultuous debates through which leaders entered and escalated the war, and the paradox that continued fighting was justifiable as the shortest road towards regaining peace."--

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Subjects
Published
Oxford : Oxford University Press 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xxv, 480 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 451-466) and index.
ISBN
9780198702382
0198702388
Main Author
D. 1954- Stevenson (author)
  • Introduction
  • Part !. Atlantic Prologue: 1. Unleashing the U-boats ; 2. Enter America ; 3. Britain adopts convoys
  • Part II. Continental Impasse: 4. Tsar Nicholas abdicates ; 5. France attacks ; 6. The Kerensky offensive ; 7. The road to Passchendaele ; 8. Collapse at Caporetto ; 9. Peace moves and their rejection
  • Part III. Global Repercussions: 10. The spread of intervention : Greece, Brazil, Siam, China ; 11. Responsible government for India ; 12. A Jewish national home
  • Part IV. Conclusion: Towards 1918 : Lenin's revolution, the Ludendorff offensives, and Wilson's Fourteen Points.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Stevenson (Arms Races in International Politics), chair in international history at the London School of Economics, adds a distinguished volume to his half-dozen major works on WWI. He focuses on the war's forgotten year, when the nations of Europe desperately sought to escape the "war trap" they had dug since 1914. Stevenson presents this process as a study in contingencies: the hows and whys of decisions over whether "to intervene, to repudiate compromise, and to attack." Each nation's responsible decision-making parties were held in high regard, yet though their decisions weren't uniformly disastrous, Stevenson writes, none fulfilled expectations. As the year opened the war "remained Germany's to lose." One Entente army after another "wasted itself in vain offensives": France in Champagne, Britain in Flanders, and Italy on the Isonzo, while Russia's post-czarist Provisional Government sought to prove it still deserved Allied support. But between January and November, unrestricted submarine warfare brought the U.S. into the conflict. The Bolshevik revolution then transformed Russia into a denier of Europe's prewar order. Initiatives for a compromise peace collapsed and the war's consequences spread far beyond Europe. Stevenson's comprehensively researched and perceptively reasoned analysis stands apart from similar histories by showing that the conflict's outcome was determined "not through blind impersonal forces but through deliberate will." Illus. (Jan.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"1917 was a year of calamitous events, and one of pivotal importance in the development of the First World War. In 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, leading historian of World War I David Stevenson examines this crucial year in context and illuminates the century that followed. He shows how in this one year the war was transformed, but also what drove the conflict onwards and how it continued to escalate. Two developments in particular--the Russian Revolution and American intervention--had worldwide repercussions. Offering a close examination of the key decisions, David Stevenson considers Germanys campaign of 'unrestricted' submarine warfare, America's declaration of war in response, and Britain's frustration of German strategy by adopting the convoy system, as well as why (paradoxically) the military and political stalemate in Europe persisted. Focusing on the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, on the disastrous spring offensive that plunged the French army into mutiny, on the summer attacks that undermined the moderate Provisional Government in Russia and exposed Italy to national humiliation at Caporetto, and on the British decision for the ill-fated Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), 1917 offers a truly international understanding of events. The failed attempts to end the war by negotiation further clarify the underlying forces that prolonged it. David Stevenson also analyzes the global consequences of the year's developments, describing how countries such as Brazil and China joined the belligerents, how Britain offered 'responsible government' to India, and the Allies promised a Jewish national home in Palestine. Blending political and military history, and moving from capital to capital and between the cabinet chamber and the battle front, the book highlights the often tumultuous debates through which leaders entered and escalated the war, and the paradox that continued fighting was justifiable as the shortest road towards regaining peace"--Provided by publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Examines the events of 1917, analyzing the global consequences of the years developments and blending political and military history to highlight the debates through which leaders entered and escalated the war.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A leading historian of World War I examines 1917 in context and illuminates the century that followed, showing how in this one year the war was transformed, but also what drove the conflict onwards and how it continued to escalate. K. PW.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

1917 was a year of calamitous events, and one of pivotal importance in the development of the First World War. In 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, leading historian of World War I David Stevenson examines this crucial year in context and illuminates the century that followed. He shows how inthis one year the war was transformed, but also what drove the conflict onwards and how it continued to escalate.Two developments in particular - the Russian Revolution and American intervention - had worldwide repercussions. Offering a close examination of the key decisions, David Stevenson considers Germanys campaign of submarine warfare, America's declaration of war in response, and Britain's frustration ofGerman strategy by adopting the convoy system, as well as why (paradoxically) the military and political stalemate in Europe persisted. 1917 offers a truly international understanding of events, including abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the disastrous spring offensive that plunged the French army into mutiny, on the summer attacks that undermined the moderate Provisional Government in Russia and exposed Italy to national humiliationat Caporetto, and on the British decision for the ill-fated Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). David Stevenson also analyzes the global consequences of the years developments, describing how countries such as Brazil and China joined the belligerents, how Britain offered "responsible government" to India, and how the Allies promised a Jewish national home in Palestine. Blending political andmilitary history, and moving from capital to capital and from the cabinet chamber to the battle front, the book highlights the often tumultuous debates through which leaders entered and escalated the war, and the paradox that continued fighting was justifiable as the shortest road toward peace.