Between January and July 1919, after the war to end all wars of 1914–18, men and women from all over the world converged on Paris for the Peace Conference. For six extraordinary months the city was effectively the centre of world government as the peacemakers wound up bankrupt empires and created new countries. They pushed Russia to the sidelines, alienated China and dismissed the Arabs, struggled with the problems of Kosovo, of the Kurds, and of a homeland for the Jews. The peacemakers, so it has been said, failed dismally; failed above all to prevent another war. Hear Margaret MacMillan argue that they have unfairly been made scapegoats for the mistakes of those who came later.
Margaret MacMillan is Professor of History at the University of Toronto and Emeritus Professor of International History and former warden of St Anthony’s College, Oxford
Robert Gerwarth is Professor of Modern History and Head of School at UCD
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