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Carve-Up

Zara Steiner, 2 July 1981

The Allies and the Russian Collapse: March 1917-March 1918 
by Michael Kettle.
Deutsch, 287 pp., £14.95, March 1981, 0 233 97078 9
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... The Allied intervention in the Russian civil war had far more important consequences than the events of this comic tragedy deserved. If it had little influence on the outcome of the First World War or on events within the Soviet Union, it left memories which shaped the Cold War and have not been totally effaced even to the present day. The intervention was to intensify the Soviet belief that their country was a beleaguered state faced by hostile forces, particularly after the hopes for a European revolution faded ...

A Bit of Chaos

Margaret MacMillan: The Great War and After, 5 February 2015

The Deluge: The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order 
by Adam Tooze.
Allen Lane, 672 pp., £30, May 2014, 978 1 84614 034 1
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... real promise of the 1920s that the world would recover and build a stable international order. Zara Steiner, among others, has obliged us to look again at that decade and treat it on its own terms as a time of achievement and hope. The world did eventually recover economically from the war and by the late 1920s production in most European countries ...

Casino Politics

David Stevenson: Writing European history, 6 October 2005

The Lights that Failed: European International History 1919-33 
by Zara Steiner.
Oxford, 938 pp., £35, April 2005, 0 19 822114 2
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... having been complemented by Paul Schroeder’s Transformation of European Politics 1763-1848. Zara Steiner’s new history will inevitably be measured against these distinguished predecessors, and it stands up to the comparison: considered as a monument to scholarly stamina, it is even more impressive. Although The Lights that Failed has been ...

Omnipresent Eye

Patrick Wright: The Nixon/Mao Show, 16 August 2007

Seize the Hour: When Nixon Met Mao 
by Margaret MacMillan.
Murray, 384 pp., £25, October 2006, 0 7195 6522 7
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... so, however, there are risks of oversimplification attached to this way of framing history. Like Zara Steiner, in her more recent study of the 1920s, The Lights That Failed (2005), MacMillan is critical of latter-day commentators who blithely condemn the Paris Conference as a failure that placed the Second World War in the wings. Yet to focus on an ...

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