This exercise asks you to read historian Tony Judt’s review of Margaret Macmillan’s book Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. The review was originally published in The New York Times.
1. How does the review’s author compare the 1815 Congress of Vienna to the 1919 Paris Peace Conference?
2. Does the review’s author emphasize the diplomatic process or the characters of the diplomats themselves? Which perspective would emphasize each of those factors?
3. How does the review’s author describe the differences between the Americans at the conference and the representatives of other states?
4. What is the “Big Idea” that the Americans promoted? How does the review’s author describe the consequences of putting that “Big Idea” into reality? Which perspective do you think the review’s author is taking in describing why the “Big Idea” failed, and why?
5. According to the review’s author, how did the peace settlements in 1945 differ with the peace settlement of 1919?
6. What do you think the author means by the title “We’ll Always Have Paris?” What are the lasting consequences of the Paris Peace Conference that remain relevant today?