- Gebundene Ausgabe: 672 Seiten
- Verlag: Viking (13. November 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0670024929
- ISBN-13: 978-0670024926
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16 x 5,2 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 308.001 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 (Englisch) Gebundenes Buch – 13. November 2014
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Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize -- History
“For anyone seeking to understand how American predominance was achieved in the years after World War I, and why it catastrophically failed to keep the hard-won peace, Adam Tooze has written an essential book. Epic in scope, boldly argumentative, deftly interweaving military and economic narratives, The Deluge is a splendid interpretive history.” — The New York Times Book Review
“A grand and groundbreaking reinterpretation of World War I and its aftermath.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A globe-spanning and wide-ranging examination of how America’s historic decision to join that epochal war changed the U.S. as well as the entire world order, ‘The Deluge’ is also a look at a past that is both terribly remote and hauntingly familiar.”—Salon
“Massive, well-researched and eminently readable.”—The Washington Times
“Tooze guides us through the numerous diplomatic and economic catastrophes that emerged from World War I. Eventually we start to get a well-rounded and extremely comprehensive insight into why Wilson’s American foreign policy was so misguided.... Excellent... provide[s] us with a superb insight into the collapse of a stable Europe.”—The Daily Beast
“Tooze’s analysis, particularly of fears the American capitalist juggernaut provoked, should spark debate, especially in scholarly circles.”—Booklist
“A thoroughly researched, much-needed reexamination of America’s role in the aftermath of World War I that will appeal to any reader interested in the interwar period.”— Library Journal, Michael Farrell, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL
“In this landmark study, Tooze offers an elegant account of the reordering of great-power relations that took place after World War I, at the dawn of ‘the American century.’”— Foreign Affairs, G. John Ikenberry
“Adam Tooze’s utterly hypnotic study reaches back to a time in which fragile economies across the world were every bit as intertwined and acutely vulnerable, and where unforeseen economic shocks could be enough to trigger apocalyptic bloodshed. What Adam Tooze has done—a huge, formidable achievement—is to reconstruct a vast global web, and to show how the slightest vibrations on its threads had consequences everywhere, almost regardless of individual fears and hates or venomous ideologies. The breadth of his scholarship also frighteningly illuminates the fragility of peace.” — The Telegraph (UK)
“Tooze shows, more emphatically than any other scholar I have read, how decisively and how sweepingly the First World War ended this state of affairs….Tooze's brilliant account also offers much food for thought for any observer of the current international scene.” —The Guardian
“The Deluge sets a provocative framework for studies of the Great War, one that places issues of US power and American history at the center. Its well-written critique of US leadership and its insightful account of the intricate policies of the major powers deserve a wide readership among those who wish to understand how the world careened from the Great War into the Great Depression.” —Current History
“Bold and ambitious... The Deluge is the work of a fine historian at the peak of his powers, formidable in its range and command of the material, written in strong, muscular prose.... The best of the current deluge of books about the first world war.”—Ben Shephard, The Observer (UK)
“[Tooze’s] new book confirms his stature as an analyst of hugely complex political and economic issues…. Here, as in his earlier work, Tooze shows himself a formidably impressive chronicler of a critical period of modern history, unafraid of bold judgments.”—Max Hastings, The Sunday Times (UK)
“Tooze’s book is an invaluable account of why the US and its allies, having defeated Germany in 1918, were unable thereafter to stabilise the world economy and build a collective security system.”—The Financial Times
“Amid all the current commemorative news, a clear and compelling rationale as to why it is actually worth going back and looking at the era of the First World War at this particular moment in time.”—Neil Gregor, Literary Review
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Adam Tooze is the author of Wages of Destruction, winner of the Wolfson Prize and Longman History Today Prize. He is the Kathyrn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History at Columbia University. He formerly taught at Yale University, where he was Director of International Security Studies, and at the University of Cambridge. He has worked in executive development with several major corporations and contributed to the National Intelligence Council. He has written and reviewed for Foreign Affairs, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Sunday Telegraph, the Wall Street Journal, Die Zeit, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Tageszeitung and Spiegel Magazine, New Left Review and the London Review of Books.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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In his new book he addresses the events of 1919 to 1939, and asks 'Why did the western powers lose their grip in such a spectacular fashion?'. His thesis is it was America's failure to 'cooperate with the efforts of the French, British, Germans and the Japanese to stabilise the world economy and establish new institutions of collective security ' that caused the problems that emerged after the Great War ended in 1918.
After the Armistice, an error that allowed Germany to claim she had not been defeated, representatives laboured for 6 months before signing what came to be called the Treaty of Versailles. They had faced enormously complex problems in a world fragmented and in turmoil. 65 million men had been mobilised from around the globe. At least 9 million lay dead, and some 21 million more were wounded, diseased or mutilated. It has been estimated that each day deaths on the battlefield were 10 times greater than in the American Civil War. Some 22 million civilians had been killed or wounded. Famine was rife across parts of Europe-Germany was still blockaded. In many capitals there was bitter fighting. At least 14 wars raged. Thousands of square miles of France had been devastated. In Poland, and elsewhere there was rampant inflation-prices in Russia had risen by a factor of 400,000,000! Revolutions broke out in Germany, Hungary, Austria and Poland and in other parts of Europe. 4 Empires had gone. A major civil war that involved the West was being fought in Russia. Boundary changes were bewildering, and hanging over everything was nationalsm fostered by the war and Wilson's 14 Points.
The European economy was in ruins. The war had cost an estimated $603 billion. Gradually Europe slid into a major depression by 1920 that has almost been ignored by historians. From 1918, an influenza pandemic swept the world killing some 12 million, 5 million in India alone. It killed more Americans than did the war.
In the midst of this turmoil the peacemakers bickered and battled-often among themselves-to bring order and peace. Wilson threatened on more than one occasion to leave Paris and return home. How to deal with Germany was a major issue. The only state that emerged almost unscathed from the war was America. France and Britain were no longer world powers. This is why Tooze believes America should have used its power and led the world on a path of peace instead of withdrawing behind the walls of fortress America. His is a painstaking analysis but is he perhaps a little unfair in his attack on Wilson and those that followed him in the White House?
This reviewer thinks he is, for the following reasons:
America was not the economic and military superpower in 1918 that she was in 1945;
America had several major domestic problems of her own to deal with; the US constitution placed severe consfraints on Wilson that hampered his diplomacy; Wilson's personality and beliefs about peace were in sharp conflict with many in his party and in the Republican Party, and the sheer complexity of the issues facing Wilson and the other peacemakers in 1918, in some respects these were greater than those post 1945.
The President was not worldly-wise. He was a scholar who was never highly regarded as a President. He suffered ill health for much of his life, and his political opponents in the Senate gave him no rest. Also we should not forget that relations between America and the other key peacemakers were at times frigid and highly suspicious. British imperialism was detested in many parts of the USA. In particular, several Republican senators were angry about our refusal to grant Ireland independence. Finally, even an historian of Tooze's stature is perhaps a little guilty at times of basking in the comfort of hindsight.
A book to be be read alongside Macmillan's outstanding 'Peacemakers', and Mulligan's 'The Great War For Peace' in order to get a balanced picture.
These books and many others demonstrate it is much more difficult to forge a peace than fight a war. The failure to ensure peace was not America's fault. It was the delberate actions of Hitler, Mussolini and the military gang in Tokyo. Even if America had not become isolationist this would not have stopped those intent on taking their frontiers for a walk. Remember also that the League, even without the US, Germany and Russia, was not a complete failure in all respects.
At Versailles, the peacemakers had no experience of formulating a peace treaty, the only 'template' available was that of Vienna in 1815, and that was useless given the conditions that faced Clemenceau and others.
Wilson denigrated the long-established European system that had governed the previous 100 years but his vision of a new system spelt out in his 14 Points proved to be premature. Harold Nicholson pointed out the organisational faults of the Paris Conference. The lack of coordination, the numerous committees, the haphazard agendas, the underestimation of the importance of economic matters, and the failure to take into account the needs of the smaller powers were only a few of the problems that bedevilled and prolonged the Conference. It was again Harold Nicholson who said at the time that if we had known the US would withdraw from active participation, 'the Covenant and the Reparations details would have been drafted quite differently'. He added that 'there is a tendency to expect too much from America'.
Of the utmost importance was the fact that the key peacemakers were all politicians; they were all therefore subject to pressures from their party, the opposition, the media and the public. Time pressure was yet another problem. In the end, the Treaty of Versailles and the other treaties, were thrown together in a great flurry. Few present had even read the whole treaty on the day it was signed.
Tooze also pays insufficient attention to the fear among the peacemakers of communism spreading after the coup of 1917. Demands by Trotsky, and others for world communism did little to appease these fears. Hence, the worry that if Germany was treated too harshly she might not form the necessary barrier to the spread of communism. Foreign Office files make this all too clear. Not for nothing was communism frequently referred to as a 'virus'.
The retreat into isolationism by America was undoubtedly bad for peacemaking after 1918 but many, many other reasons contributed to the 'deluge'. The war was America's first serious encounter with European conflict and global diplomacy. She had deep suspicians about the intentions of the other Powers, an intense dislike of colonialism, a view of world justice that was both messianic and naive. America was and is a 'salad bowl' of peoples. Many were pro Germany and anti Entente. Their elected representatives reflected these views in Congress making Wilson's job all the harder.
Ironically, Tooze castigates the US for failing to pick up the leadership baton in 1918 while others attack her today for trying to act like the world's polceman. Thanks to her and the Soviet Union Hitler was defeated in 1945. During the Cold War, and various 'hot wars' since, America has, fortunately for the rest of us, used her superpower status to lead the West despite criticism, some of it justified.
Although not everyone will agree the author's judgements on a very complex, question, this is an outstanding book.
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As to the first, I can only disagree. I read nothing but scholarly nonfiction and, while Tooze is not a great writer, he is a fine writer of history.
I did not find that it could have been a much shorter book either. He is covering a lot of territory and he tries to do it justice. The only real problem I had with the editing occurs with Figure 3 on page 357. I have no idea what the Y axis represents. If anyone knows, please leave an explanation in the comments.
As for the content, while I am no expert in this period of history, I found the content to be original and fascinating. Americans of a certain age were told that Wilson tried to change what wars were fought for and how the international community would handle conflict in the aftermath of WW1. Tooze's story is more complicated, nuanced and believable.
Tooze's basic theme is the recasting of American power in the aftermath of WW1. America through its military, economic and cultural strength(by which I mean the appeal of Wilsonianism) was able to provincialize (Tooze's ugly word) Europe. America was economically able to veto or render impotent many of the governmental policies of Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, China and Russia. The fact that there was real differences of opinion between the Congress and the Presidents (Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover) which made it difficult for the other powers to know what to expect from the U.S. in terms of consistent policy made it that much harder for any of them to know what to do.
I feel that Tooze tells his story with great understanding of the individual politics of each of the above countries. We read how the Irish conflict and the struggle of Indian independence limited Britain's options, of the different parties contending for power in Japan and of the struggles for control by different factions of Chinese warlords and parties. We also get a good sense on how the business and political communities in each country clashed over policy.
As stated above, I am no expert. If there is a book that tells this story better and more comprehensively, I wish the critics would name it so I can read it. What I can tell you is that this book has driven me to read some of his sources. Tooze has awakened my interest in this period of history by exposing my ignorance. For that, I bow in his direction.
In 1916 America had become the world's largest economy and it was the banker to France and Britain. Tooze starts the book in 1916 because that was the year when the GDP of the U.S. exceeded that of the British Empire for the first time. In 1914 the U.S. was not yet part of the European diplomatic conversation, but after 1916 Tooze claims that “American economic might would be the decisive factor in the shaping of the world order.”
Before 1914 the European empires had usually kept the peace around the world. That world order was irrevocably shattered, firstly by the war, and secondly by the economic weakness and political instability of Europe in the 1920s. Germany was a mess. The Austrian and Ottoman Empires had been dismantled by the Allies. France ceased to be a major power, although it still had an empire. Russia succumbed to a revolution in 1917 and then fought a civil war. It became inward-looking during the 1916-1931 period as it implemented communism. Britain was the last European power standing, but it was also broke. Under the 1923 settlement of British war debt, London had to pay $4.6bn to the US at an interest rate of 3.3%. The annual payment of £162m was equivalent to the British national education budget. Tooze also blames Britain and France for living in the past and not realizing the days of the empire would soon be over. Britain and France took on responsibilities in the Middle East that they could no longer afford.
President Wilson wanted to end imperialism and saw the Europeans as a problem. Tooze states that "the world he wanted to create was one in which the exceptional position of America at the head of world civilization would be inscribed on the gravestone of European power.” At the 1919 peace conference, he pushed for American hegemony and dominance. He also wanted “the collective humbling of all the European powers.” The departure of the Europeans from the world stage would create a power vacuum, which the U.S. was unwilling to fill. Wilson had encouraged nationalism and self-determination throughout the world and this created tensions. The IRA and Gandhi were fans of Wilson. Wilson lacked support at home and Congress was reluctant for the U.S. to assume a leadership role. It preferred isolationism. Congress did not ratify the Versailles peace treaty and refused to join the League of Nations. The U.S. also declined to underwrite collective security arrangements in Europe and contributed to its economic problems via its treatment of war debt and the Wall Street Crash.
A popular assumption is that the Treaty of Versailles inflicted such cruel reparation terms on the Germans that WW2 was inevitable. Tooze does not believe that the payment of reparations necessarily turned Germany into a failed state. It did not have much external debt. He believes what crushed Germany was the Wall Street Crash in 1929. The collapse of the world economy plunged Germany into economic and political chaos. In 1932, the unemployment rate in Germany was worse than that in the U.S. Tooze believes that the Great Depression led to Hitler’s electoral victory in 1933.
Authoritarianism began eclipsing liberal democracy across Europe in the 1920s, and by 1939 many countries were run by dictators or strongmen. For example, Poland's new democracy, created in 1921, was ended by an army coup in 1926. During the 1920s and 1930s Japan, Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union, expanded their political and economic influence by force and threat. Many Europeans seemed to find fascism and communism attractive options. By the 1930s France and Britain could only deter any new German aggression with American support, and that was not forthcoming.
Tooze leaves you with the nagging suspicion that had America assumed a more active role in global affairs after WW1 things might have turned have out differently. Tooze gives us the American perspective and explains the pressures and motivations behind U.S. behavior. Tooze is critical of Wilson but he also believes that pre-WW2 America was not ready to assume a leading global role. However, in 1945 the U.S. took an active role in the rebuilding of post-war Europe and we have had peace and prosperity.