David Andelman's new account ofVersailles and its aftermath certainly strikes a more sombre tone. Andelman argues that the diplomatic miscalculations and lost opportunities of 1919 had a profound role in bringing about major crises in the non-western world, from the wars in Algeria and Vietnam to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and today's "dirty wars" in the Arab world. "The seeds of today's terrorist wars," he suggests, "were planted in the halls of the Paris talks - by those who were there and those who were not" (5).There is much in this argument with which one could agree, most notably with respect to the peacemakers' (at best) naive assumption that western notions of democracy and peaceful ethnic-religious coexistence could be imposed on geographical areas with very different political traditions and enormous ethnic complexity. On the other hand, readers are mostly left to draw inferences themselves about how exactly the "seeds" planted in Paris enabled the violence and hatred of later generations. His depictions of dashed hopes in 19 19 are vivid and thoroughly researched, but Andelman's continuity argument largely ignores the manifold conflicts, decolonization processes, and large-scale ethnic- engineering schemes that occurred between 1919 and 2001, and which were not directly prompted by the Paris peace treaties. In his account, there is no room for the great depression (which catapulted the Nazi party from a tiny fringe-group of isolated right-wing lunatics to Germany's largest political party), no Second World War (including Japanese expansionism, which destroyed western colonial rule in Asia and created an important power vacuum for nationalist and communist "freedom fighters"), no Holocaust, and no Cold War.
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