In this book, acclaimed historian Thomas J. Fleming undertakes nothing less than a drastic revision of America's experience in World War I
. He reveals how the British and French
duped Wilson and the American people into thinking the war was as good as won, and there would be no need to send an army overseas. He describes a harried president making speech after speech proclaiming America's ideals while supporting the Espionage
and Sedition Acts that sent critics like Eugene Victor Debs
to federal prisons. Meanwhile, a government propaganda machine created a hate-driven "war will" that soon spilled over into attacks on ethnic Americans. On the Western Front, the Allies did their utmost to turn the American Expeditionary Force
into cannon fodder. At the Paris
Peace Conference, the cynical Europeans mocked Wilson and his ideals, browbeating him into accepting the vengeful Treaty of Versailles
, sowing the seeds of World War II.
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World War I started in August 1914 and ended in November 1918, but American participation did not begin at all until 1917 and not on a large scale until the final year. World War I arrayed the Central Powers, primarily Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire against Russia in the east and France and Britain in the West. Eugene Victor Debs ran many times on the Socialist Party ticket for president of the United States, once while imprisoned for his opposition to World War I.