"Marvelous. What a well-wrought and haunting book this is. Philip Zelikow lucidly recounts and dissects how the worst consequences of the war of 1914-1918 almost came to be averted. He shows how leaders in both belligerent camps and the neutral United States strove mightily to end that conflict in 1916 and early 1917. This is a must-read book for understanding World War I and its consequences."—John M. Cooper Jr, Emeritus Professor University of Wisconsin-Madison
"I read this book with unflagging interest, as my admiration for the carefulness of Zelikow’s research and the nuance of his argument grew virtually by the page. This is a gripping, granular analysis of one of modern history’s most fascinating and consequential might-have-beens, a must read for all practitioners and students of statecraft. "—David M. Kennedy, Stanford University, Pulitzer and Bancroft Prize-winning author of Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War and Over Here: The First World War and American Society.
"The failure of Germany, Britain, and France halfway through World War I to reach a compromise peace mediated by Woodrow Wilson proved as disastrous for subsequent world history as the outbreak of the war itself. Philip Zelikow's enthralling narrative, with all the tautness of a mystery and based on thorough multinational research, unravels the earnest hopes, miscalculated tactics, and narrow political ambitions that all played a tragic role. Today's policy makers should ponder the lessons."
—Charles Maier, Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University
“Despite the immense literature about World War I, there is, Zelikow attests, no history until now about this tragic impasse, making this supremely well-written work essential.”—Booklist
“Zelikow shines fresh light on a major historical crossroads…. Outstanding revisionist history demonstrating what could have been a far more peaceful 20th century.”—Kirkus (starred review)
“Deeply researched and scathingly critical of the war’s foremost political figures, this history offers an intriguing look at what might have been.”—Publisher's Weekly