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Summary

This is the story of two men and the two decisions that transformed world history in a single tumultuous year, 1917: Wilson's entry into World War I and Lenin's Bolshevik Revolution.

In April 1917, Woodrow Wilson, champion of American democracy but also segregation, advocate for free trade and a new world order based on freedom and justice, thrust the United States into World War I in order to make the "world safe for democracy" - only to see his dreams for a liberal international system dissolve into chaos, bloodshed, and betrayal.

That October, Vladimir Lenin, Communist revolutionary and advocate for class war and "dictatorship of the proletariat", would overthrow Russia's earlier democratic revolution that had toppled the all-power czar, all in the name of liberating humanity - and instead would set up the most repressive totalitarian regime in history, the Soviet Union.

In this incisive, fast-paced history, New York Times best-selling author Arthur Herman brilliantly reveals how Lenin and Wilson rewrote the rules of modern geopolitics. Through the end of World War I, countries marched into war only to increase or protect their national interests. After World War I, countries began going to war over ideas. Together, Lenin and Wilson unleashed the disruptive ideologies that would sweep the world, from nationalism and globalism to Communism and terrorism, and that continue to shape our world today.

Our New World Disorder is the legacy left by Wilson and Lenin and their visions of the perfectibility of man. One hundred years later, we still sit on the powder keg they first set the detonator to through war and revolution.

©2017 Arthur Herman (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • James M. Tilly
  • 16-12-17

Timely and fascinating book.

A fascinating look into a year that changed the course of history, and the two men whose decisions shaped it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-03-18

a sobering look at disintegrating idols.

For those whose idea of history starts with their first birthday this is recommended highly.


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  • James Reed McGhee II
  • 18-03-18

Reevaluating Wilson via Lenin; A daring contrast

The author has a well reasoned argument. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Idealism without objectivity, openness to the ideas of others, and the ability to share, can lead to disaster.
The author still holds with the notion that if we learn from history, we may not be condemned to repeat old mistakes. It is revealing that one of his final quotes comes from Henry Kissinger, one of the great practitioners of Realpolitik in modern times.
While the author concludes with allusions to Donald Trump, and addresses the issue of Americas leadership role in the world, I was surprised that he did not mention the parallel between Lenin’s demagoguery and Trump’s, and the disaster that is almost inevitable when people are divided by their leaders in this way.
This book as many questions and was very thoughtful about the way leaders respond to events and how they take advantage of, or lose opportunities.
Ultimately, as members of a democracy, I feel that we the people should not allow our leaders to lead us in ways with which I do not agree. Wilson did have a idealistic, but democratic notion, in having a “spot election” of Senators, based upon their vote on his league of Nations concept. I think, had it been possible, Wilson would have been surprised and disappointed.
However, unless we change our constitution, and take it vantage of technology to conduct elections in Reverend or in a quick and secure fashion, we will not be running this nation by referendum, so we must put pressure on our leaders to represent us in to do our will, not their will.

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  • Mark
  • 27-02-18

history

This is history all should know.. All too often hidden in the political agenda .Excellent