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The Deluge: The Great War, America And The Remaking Of The Global Order, 1916-1931 (2014)

by Adam Tooze(Favorite Author)
4 of 5 Votes: 1
0670024929 (ISBN13: 9780670024926)
Viking Adult
review 1: Not for the faint of heart, Adam Tooze describes and analyses the interplay between politics and finance in the final years of the First World War and the post-war era in this vast and detailed work. The short version is that the Europeans were involved in a war they really couldn't afford and turned to America to finance and eventually win the war. The problems of the post-war settlements were made vastly more difficult by America's refusal to consider forgiving those debts to allow their allies to get back on their feet, by the huge financial burdens of reparations placed on Germany, which before the war had been the engine of the European economy, and by the rise of the Soviet Union as a player in the new world system. The narrative also covers developments in China and... more Japan, thus illustrating the global nature of the political and financial instabilities of the time. All this is grist for Tooze's thorough mill. It's also an entertaining read - not something one can say about every economic history - despite its length and the depth of his coverage. A very very good book indeed.
review 2: Ambitious, and with a breathtaking scope, I can't help but feel that Tooze bit off a bit more than he could chew-even a 500 page book isn't adequate space to cover the development of the entire international order from 1916 through 1933. His characterization of Wilson as a man seeking to assert American fiscal hegemony may be criticized by some, but I find it hard to disagree with his thesis.The author often makes assertions that he seems to lack the time or space to fully explore, and there are a few boggling factual errors that he or his editor really should have caught- for example, he describes the Japanese battleship Mutsu as a cruiser, which may seem like nitpicking but, as Tooze himself asserts, battleships were seen as a sign of national pride and strength, and this error is therefore significant. Despite these flaws,this is a well-written and readable book, recommended to all serious history fans. less
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12/31/14 read about it in The Atlantic about why the US really became a super power
available netgalley penguin uk
And we still haven't learned.
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