1918: War and Peace ( 2001 )
On the night of November 7, 1918, out of the fog of "No Man’s Land", French troops perceived the vague form of a white flag. Within four days Germany had signed the armistice at the forest outside Compigne. Renowned historian Gregor Dallas traces the transition from war to peace across Europe from the perspective of five capitals: Berlin, Paris, Washington, London, Moscow. In Berlin the cabarets and beer halls are open, while there is shooting in the streets. In Paris, the peacemakers have assembled to draft the Treaty of Versailles and create the League of Nations.
Washington is divided between those who want to open America to the world and those who would prefer the world to go away. A new theater season opens in London, where David Lloyd George holds new elections and reorganizes the War Cabinet and John Maynard Keynes worries about the debt. Moscow, still reeling from the Revolution of 1917, is a scene of desolation, but Lenin insists on setting up the Third International. The silencing of the guns led to the collapse and disappearance of the German, Austria-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires; to revolution and civil disorder; to poverty and disease. The face of Europe was changed forever and the consequences of the peace in that autumn of 1918 would bear fruit twenty years later-when new horrors would await a new generation.