Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America's Entry into World War I

Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America's Entry into World War I

Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America's Entry into World War I

Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America's Entry into World War I

Excerpt

Some years ago I was privileged to participate in a seminar on the presidency of Woodrow Wilson conducted by Arthur S. Link, the world’s foremost scholar on America’s twenty-eighth president. My doctoral dissertation, however, though written under Link’s direction, centered on U.S.—Far Eastern relations in the early 1930s. Since then I have worked primarily in the presidencies of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with a side excursion to the those of James A. Garfield and Chester Alan Arthur. Yet, despite what has long been the main focus of my research, Wilson’s leadership has never ceased to fascinate me, in particular his foreign policy during World War I and its aftermath. I began this book in part with the aim of self-education, hoping to share with both general reader and advanced scholar my extensive investigation in the secondary literature and published primary sources.

Since 1965, when Link’s multivolume biography reached the age of American belligerency, and since 1983, when Link’s edition of the Wilson papers approached the time when the president signed the war resolution, many studies have appeared, often drawing upon Link’s work. Even within the past decade, scholars have produced a host of specialized accounts. Included are major works that concentrate on Wilson’s neutrality policy, compare the president’s view with those of Americans of pacifist and “Atlanticist” persuasions, cover women’s activism and citizen diplomacy, and examine submarine strikes against American ships just before the United States entered the conflict. We have also garnered fresh biographies of Colonel Edward Mandell House, William Jennings Bryan, William Randolph Hearst, Theodore Roosevelt, and Wilson himself. Certain neglected monographs, articles, and doctoral dissertations—some dating back several decades— . . .

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