Book review: “A Shattered Peace”

Review by Sal Compagno

“A Shattered Peace” by David Andelman,

When the First World War ended the fighting on the Western Front on Nov. 11, 1918, a war-ravaged Europe stood facing the opportunity to remake the world for a lasting peace.  David Andelman’s book, “A Shattered Peace,” provides a detailed account how the peace treaty of Versailles shaped the
modern world and whose creators deliberately made a lasting peace impossible.  He spares no one and is especially critical of  the famous “Big Four” who, grounded in the 19th-Century power-politics, would not bend or envision a different world.  Andelman is particularly severe on Wilson’s self-determination goal for reshaping borders and his strident demand for a League of Nations.

To say that Versailles caused most of the modern global instability is the principal point.  The author valiantly reveals how personality and individual misgivings governed decisions which had lasting effects to our own day.  Take the Middle East’s current instability as an example.  Sharply defined borders there became irrational and insecure due to greed and ignorance of local conditions.  Ethnic, religious, social and economic elements were totally ignored! Thus, chaos and bloodshed were guaranteed. Oblivious to essential conditions in their judgements, in spite of expert testimony, the leaders in the “peace” making doggedly stuck to their selfish desires in all areas the war covered.   Andelman has portrayed a dismal and tragic drama whose influence is still vividly being felt.