America's Greatest Blunder: The Fateful Decision to Enter World War One
Pines provides an epic exercise in historical speculation in this detailed and thought-provoking review of the United States entry into WWI. His daring thesis, buttressed by a sweeping review of sentiment at the time, is that U.S. intervention into a war in which American interests were not threatened laid the basis for a disastrous peace agreement, a vengeful postwar spirit, and ultimately WWII and the Cold War. Contending that the Allies and Central Powers were too exhausted to continue the fight, Pines maintains that, had U.S. troops not entered the conflict, a negotiated peace would have ensued. The surrender terms imposed on Germany, he argues, led to a legacy of bitterness that helped foster subsequent Nazi rule. Pines's re-examination of the atmosphere of those times is fascinating food for thought as we approach 2014, 100 years after the start of "The War to End All Wars."