What Really Happened at Paris: The Story of the Peace Conference, 1918-1919

By Edward Mandell House; Charles Seymour | Go to book overview
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VII
CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE BALKANS1

BY ISAIAH BOWMAN

It is not an exaggeration to say that men now look out upon world conditions and upon peoples almost unknown until yesterday much as men looked out upon the world at the threshold of the Age of Discovery. People everywhere have been shaken violently out of their former routine. The aspects of life familiar before the war have in most cases been strangely altered. The current of the individual's life as well as the current of national life has been diverted into new channels. Paderewski, when asked if he found it difficult to face the crowds of Warsaw on his first appearance there two years ago, said that though he expected to have stage fright, actually he felt quite at ease, and that he supposed it was due to experience in facing audiences during his musical career. "You know I used to play," he said. "Yes," replied his listener, "I used to hear you."

A few years ago the Balkan wars were a matter of paramount public interest. Vast uncontrollable forces were then unloosed. No man could have foreseen the way in which they were to lead through the World War to the present chaos. Now we look back upon them as incidents; the stage of the world has been reset. The word "Balkanized" has become the familiar epithet of

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1
Most of the data for this article and some entire paragraphs are taken from my book entitled "The New World: Problems in Political Geography," published by World Book Company, Yonkers-on-Hudson, New York, 1921.

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