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To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order

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In his widely acclaimed To End All Wars, Thomas Knock provides an intriguing, often provocative narrative of Woodrow Wilson's epic quest for a new world order. The account follows Wilson's thought and diplomacy from his policy toward revolutionary Mexico, through his dramatic call for "Peace without Victory" in World War I, to the Senate's rejection of the League of Natio In his widely acclaimed To End All Wars, Thomas Knock provides an intriguing, often provocative narrative of Woodrow Wilson's epic quest for a new world order. The account follows Wilson's thought and diplomacy from his policy toward revolutionary Mexico, through his dramatic call for "Peace without Victory" in World War I, to the Senate's rejection of the League of Nations. Throughout Knock explores the place of internationalism in American politics, sweeping away the old view that isolationism was the cause of Wilson's failure and revealing the role of competing visions of internationalism--conservative and progressive.


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In his widely acclaimed To End All Wars, Thomas Knock provides an intriguing, often provocative narrative of Woodrow Wilson's epic quest for a new world order. The account follows Wilson's thought and diplomacy from his policy toward revolutionary Mexico, through his dramatic call for "Peace without Victory" in World War I, to the Senate's rejection of the League of Natio In his widely acclaimed To End All Wars, Thomas Knock provides an intriguing, often provocative narrative of Woodrow Wilson's epic quest for a new world order. The account follows Wilson's thought and diplomacy from his policy toward revolutionary Mexico, through his dramatic call for "Peace without Victory" in World War I, to the Senate's rejection of the League of Nations. Throughout Knock explores the place of internationalism in American politics, sweeping away the old view that isolationism was the cause of Wilson's failure and revealing the role of competing visions of internationalism--conservative and progressive.

30 review for To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Thomas Knock argues that Wilson represented the vanguard of "progressive internationalism", an approach to the world that gained currency among left-leaning Americans in the mid 1910s. This strand of thought shaped Wilson's vision for a League of Nations, but his acquiescence in the clampdown on the left following the declaration of war neutralized political forces he needed to secure the ratification of the vision. He argues that Wilson was not a realist and that his vision for the post-WW1 wor Thomas Knock argues that Wilson represented the vanguard of "progressive internationalism", an approach to the world that gained currency among left-leaning Americans in the mid 1910s. This strand of thought shaped Wilson's vision for a League of Nations, but his acquiescence in the clampdown on the left following the declaration of war neutralized political forces he needed to secure the ratification of the vision. He argues that Wilson was not a realist and that his vision for the post-WW1 world bore little resemblance to what emerged following WW2. Unlike realists, Knock in his narrative also emphasizes the influence of omestic politics on foreign policy making. A very useful book on the Wilson administration.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Perron

    Thomas Knock's book To End All Wars is a study of President Wilson's foreign policy. There is a bit of a mini-biography in the beginning the traces President Wilson's intellectual development and rise to the presidency. Everything else focuses on the President's work abroad. In his first term the book's focus is on United States' relationship with other nations in the Americas. The Knock's focus on second term is partly on World War I but more so the battle to create the League of Nations. One of Thomas Knock's book To End All Wars is a study of President Wilson's foreign policy. There is a bit of a mini-biography in the beginning the traces President Wilson's intellectual development and rise to the presidency. Everything else focuses on the President's work abroad. In his first term the book's focus is on United States' relationship with other nations in the Americas. The Knock's focus on second term is partly on World War I but more so the battle to create the League of Nations. One of the ironies the Knock points out is: with all the major foreign policy issues that would arise with President Wilson's time in office, the 1912 election had almost nothing to do with foreign policy. Knock however is quick to defend Wilson's own remark about how it would be ironic if foreign policy were to cover his Administration. Knock argues that Wilson's comment was based on the content of the election campaign not on his personal study of the issues. "The election of 1912, like almost all the others of the preceding century, did not hinge on foreign policy. President Taft now and then reflected upon his futile exertions for reciprocal trade with Canada and arbitration treaties with the European powers. Debs viewed foreign policy as irrelevant to working-class interests, just as he had done during the debate over imperialism in 1900. The Progressive platform advocated free passage through the Panama Canal for American coastwise shippers and recommended the construction of two battleships per year, while the Democratic platform called for independence for the Philippines. But none of the candidates said much about even these rather innocuous issues." (pg. 19) Wilson was an idealist but Wilson was not alone in his idealism. There were many people and movements on both sides of the political spectrum who wanted to change from the theories that used balance of power and national interest in guiding foreign policy, and to replace it with a new internationalism that would embrace the rule of law over nations. "Jane Addams played a key a pivotal in this wing of the internationalist movement; indeed, she personified its purposes and values perhaps better than anyone else. Dismayed by the failure of the established peace societies to show any muscle, Addams, with the help of Paul Kellogg and Lillian Wald, organized the Woman's Peace party in January 1915. The Woman's Peace party distinguished itself as the first organization of its kind--unlike the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace or the World Peace Foundation--to engage in direct political action (and on a variety of fronts) in order to achieve its goals." (pg.50-1) There is very little in this book about World War I as a conflict. It discusses how Wilson had America enter as an associate belligerent power rather than an ally. Wilson was disgusted with the allies and their plans to divide up the spoils after the war. Wilson wished for a new way of doing things and the actions of the allies, to him, represented what was wrong with the world. "In addition to arbitration, Wilson concentrated on disarmament. Sounding much like a card-carrying member of the American Union Against Militarism, he posed to alternatives to his audiences--disarmament through the League or the eventuality of a national security state. Should it stand apart, he argued, the United States would have to be `physically ready for whatever comes.'" (p.261) Wilson's view of what America might become has become reality. I am not sure his ideas for change were a realistic alternative. The League was not worth much and even the U.N. that replaced it has some terrible flaws. It is ironic that the ship Wilson used to go France in was the called the George Washington. I can think of no president whose views on foreign policy were closer to the exact opposite of Wilson than Washington. I am not talking about entangled alliances either. Washington was a realist who felt that nations would only go along with whatever aligned with their interests. Wilson talked of `equity of nations'. Why would a great power like Great Britain want to be on an equal footing with Luxemburg? Wilson's goals were admirable and maybe one day be attainable, but his methods were questionable at best.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leonardo

    Sobre Woodrow Wilson y la suerte del internacionalismo progresivo. Imperio Pág.133 Sobre Woodrow Wilson y la suerte del internacionalismo progresivo. Imperio Pág.133

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

    my feelings of this book are complex. I think he nailed that Wilson's mind cannot be understood simply

  5. 5 out of 5

    Reader2007

    Read for U.S. Mil Hist paper. Clearly written--focuses on Wilson's policies with the League of Nations as well as how he changed the course of American ideology with regards to foreign policy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    I personally think this author did his best to be non-biased. I learned a lot about Woodrow Wilson and the events surrounding the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Raully

  8. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Parker

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kent Crain

  10. 4 out of 5

    Docambrose

  11. 4 out of 5

    Book Club of One

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  13. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alisha Smith

  16. 5 out of 5

    Damien Vasseur

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tanja

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erich Pearson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alana

  20. 5 out of 5

    Craig Caruana

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eli

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  24. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Gullo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kacy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer J Winograd

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