FAQs

Why read AMERICA’S GREATEST BLUNDER now?

Here are three reasons:

• The centenary of America’s April 6, 1917 entry into World War One – what was called the Great War – is upon us. Interest in it is mounting rapidly across America, led by the United States World War One Centennial Commission. At national and local levels are countless programs, commemorations, battlefield reenactments, conferences, websites, TV specials and scores of other observances of the war’s history. With such huge interest, it is compellingly appropriate – and useful – to look hard at the reasons for and results of World War One and, especially, America in World War One from a century-long perspective and to pose those quintessential historical questions:
What happened?
Why did it happen?
What did it mean?

• World War One’s legacy still affects our lives and the course of nations. The Great War did more than snuff out the 19th Century’s optimistic belief in perpetual progress. More consequentially, it launched the young 20th Century on its path of unprecedented violence and destruction – spawning Nazism, Hitler, World War Two and even the Cold War. In that, American foreign policy in World War One sadly played a central role.

• There may be lessons to be learned from the consequences of Woodrow Wilson’s decision to join in the Great War and send America’s Doughboys into battle on the Western Front: That America should be extremely cautious and reflexively hesitant before launching foreign military ventures.

Is AMERICA’S GREATEST BLUNDER a war history or a foreign policy study or what?

As a focused yet comprehensive look at the forces propelling America into the Great War and what America encountered in that war, the book pulls together a number of key dynamics. It is thus a war history, a foreign policy study and, as important, a description of the domestic U.S. political and social forces that influenced the decision to go to war.

• To illustrate how battles on the Western Front were stalemated, the book describes the marathon French battle of Verdun, the tragic British Passchendaele offensive and the mutiny in the French Army.

• To illustrate the forces affecting Woodrow Wilson as he came to his decision to bring America into the war, the book describes the ethnic composition of America (Germans actually were the nation’s largest ethnic group), the influence on Wilson of the Progressive Movement, the influence on public opinion of anti-German pot-boiler novels and sensationalist (silent) movies, the hawkish rhetoric of Teddy Roosevelt and the growing economic dependence of American industry, banks and farmers on a British/French military success.

• To point out that it was the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) Doughboys who won the war, the book describes how they tilted the Western Front’s balance sharply against the Germans, how they were trained to fight and how they performed in their signature battles at St. Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne.

Does AMERICA’S GREATEST BLUNDER deal with Woodrow Wilson as a diplomat?

Yes. The book describes Wilson’s sincere efforts, before U.S. entry into the war, to broker a peace and then, later, to negotiate a fair and balanced World War One armistice with Germany. At the Versailles Peace Conference, the book chronicles how Wilson, to get approval for his League of Nations idea, abandoned his commitment to a fair peace and bowed to British and French demands for a harsh treatment of Germany.

What are the basic stats of America’s Greatest Blunder?

The book is 351 pages, plus Endnotes citing numerous sources, an extensive Bibliography of works about and relevant to America’s involvement in World War One and an Index. The print versions are set in easy-on-the-eyes Garamond 11.5 font.

ISBN numbers:
978-0-9891487-3-3 for the hardback
978-0-9891487-0-2 for the paperback
978-0-9891487-2-6 for the Kindle e-book version
978-0-9891487-1-9 for the Nook and other e-versions

Where can I buy America’s Greatest Blunder?

The book is published in hardback and paperback print editions and in e-book editions for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and other e-reader devices. You can buy them at:

Buy the Book from Amazon Buy the Book from Barnes & Noble Buy the Book from iBookstore

How do I contact the author?

To contact Burton Yale Pines, click here: GreatestBlunder@gmail.com