Book Review: 1919 Versailles: The End of the War to End All Wars

1919 Versailles: The End of the War to End All Wars

1919 Versailles: The End of the War to End All Wars by Charles L. Mee Jr.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


As the centennial of World War I passed, I decided I wanted to read up on the Treaty of Versailles. 1919 Versailles: The End of the War to End All Wars by Charles L. Mee Jr. was one of the two books I picked. Mee did a very good job of introducing the main players: Clemenceau, Lloyd George, and Wilson providing good insight into their backgrounds and what influenced their thoughts and decision-making processes. He also does a good job of describing the chaotic and disjointed nature of the negotiations between the Allies in Paris. One of the more interesting aspects of the book is his use of the observations of supporting players such as Keynes and Smuts. The negotiations between the Allies and the treaty’s presentation to the Germans is roughly divided by a discussion of dadaism and surrealism that seems out of place in the book. I’m guessing that Mee intended it to illustrate how surreal the process of creating the treaty was, but it went on far too long and seemed irrelevant. It paints none of the three main players in a positive light, but it does shed some positive light on some of the supporting players such as Smuts. Except for the dadaism/surrealism section, 1919 Versailles is a very readable book, but that section does drag it down in the middle; but for it, I probably would have given it four stars.



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