General Smuts

by Antony Lentin

‘Anthony Lentin is well known for his deep, yet wide-ranging analyses of the Paris Peace Conference and the current volume is valuable addition to this catalogue.’
International History Review

Jan Christian Smuts was one of the key figures behind the creation of the League of Nations; Woodrow Wilson was inspired by his ideas on the League and borrowed heavily from them. Alarmed at the turn that peacemaking was taking, Smuts took the lead in urging moderation on reparations and Germany s frontiers with Poland and pleaded for a magnanimous peace, warning that the treaty of Versailles would lead to another war. Declaring I return to South Africa a defeated man , Smuts encouraged Keynes to write The Economic Consequences of the Peace, and denounced the occupation of the Ruhr in 1923. He became Prime Minister of South Africa and a leading Commonwealth statesman. He made important contributions to the British cause in the Second World War.

PROFESSOR ANTONY LENTIN is Visiting Professor and Tutor in Law at the Open University, where he was previously Professor of History. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a barrister. He is the author of Lloyd George and the Lost Peace: from Versailles to Hitler, 1919 1940 (2001) and wrote the Historical Association booklet The Versailles Peace Settlement (1991, 1993, second, revised edition, 2003).

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