The First World War was the most important conflict of the 20th century. As four global empires collapsed in its wake and Bolshevism was unleashed on the world, there was a race against time to build a new global organization that would mitigate conflicts before they broke out into war.
President Woodrow Wilson championed the prophetic idea of collective security at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, one that became realized the following year in the founding of the League of Nations. He personally negotiated the league’s covenant and inserted it into the Treaty of Versailles. Though Wilson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, the United States never joined the league, hobbling the organization’s future.
Historian and author Garrett Peck examines how the League of Nations came to be, its successes and failures over its 26 years of existence, and its demise and resurrection through the United Nations after World War II. He chronicles the forces that led to the creation of the league and the partisan process within the United States that rejected the peace treaty that ended WWI and returned the country to isolationism.
Peck’s book The Great War in America: World War I and Its Aftermath (Pegasus) is available for sale and signing.