Versailles 1919

by Alan Sharp

‘Sharp advocates a timely reassessment of the Paris peace … he does an excellent job of placing them within a much wider context than they normally inhabit: one reaching right up to the present day. Drawing on recent scholarship, Sharp’s analysis is concise, perceptive and engaging … [and] provides an excellent overview of a complex and wide-ranging topic.’
Roger Moorhouse, BBC History Magazine

‘Required reading for anyone who wants to understand how the world has got where it is … [Sharp] is a notable authority on the international relations of the period.’

‘Alan Sharp is one of the leading historians of the peace settlement and this excellent and wide-ranging book … argues for a more balanced appreciation of the treaties and their legacy.’
History Review

‘For non-experts, the main value of the book will probably reside in its wide re-examination of the lasting consequences and aftershocks of the defining peace treaty of the twentieth century … For the expert, it is the fair, succinct, and balanced analysis of peacemaking in Paris 1919 for which the book is likely to be remembered.’
Diplomacy and Statecraft Journal

The Versailles Settlement does not enjoy a good reputation: despite its lofty aim to settle the world’s affairs at a stroke, it is widely considered to have set the world on the path to its second major conflict within a generation. President Wilson’s controversial principle of self-determination amplified political complexities in the Balkans, while the First World War and its settlement also bear significant responsibility for showing the seeds of today’s ongoing conflict in the Middle East. A century on, the Versailles Settlement still casts a long shadow. This book, fully revised and updated with new material for the centenary of the Paris Peace Conference at Versailles in 1919, sets the consequences of the Peace Treaties into their long-term context and argues that the responsibility for Europe’s continuing interwar instability cannot be wholly attributed to the peacemakers of 1919–23.

ALAN SHARP was Professor of International Studies and Provost of the Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster. His teaching, research and writing has focused on 20th-century international history and British foreign policy after the First World War.

Also by this author, Consequences of the Peace and 28 June: Sarajevo 1914 – Versailles 1919.

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