Historian Lanctot (Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campenella) delivers a fresh, character-driven look at the debate over America’s entry into WWI....Lanctot smoothly toggles between his three main subjects and intriguing secondary characters including Hungarian suffragist and pacifist Rosika Schwimmer and American novelist James Norman Hall, who volunteered to fight with the British. The result is a rich and rewarding portrait of a crucial turning point in American history. (Oct.)
A meticulously researched examination of the dynamic among three important American newsmakers of the early 20th century...He delivers an interesting take on how Addams, Roosevelt, and Wilson interacted in alternately cooperative and competitive ways. A rigorous...historical study that reveals how three individuals helped pave the way for the American century.
Starred review. As the world began its march to the outbreak of WWI, the U.S. found itself conflicted domestically as well as diplomatically. Lanctot (Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella, 2011) recounts this momentous time by focusing on three Americans whose status and leadership profoundly influenced how the nation would respond to Europe’s crisis. Theodore Roosevelt had sundered the Republican Party with his breakaway Progressive Party campaign for the 1912 Presidential election. Woodrow Wilson, scholar and visionary, won that election and had to navigate the almost-impossible territory among rival nations, bypassing formal State Department channels by deploying Colonel Edward House to Europe. Jane Addams had become one of the world’s most respected personalities, and her intense pacifism attracted many Americans as well as foreigners eager to manipulate American opinion. Lanctot shifts smoothly among these pivotal personalities and makes the details of this broadly ranging history accessible to all sorts of readers. He covers some of the same territory Barbara Tuchman explored in her iconic The Guns of August, but Lanctot’s focus on the roles of these three titanic figures contributes a unique and valuable view of America’s place in the Great War’s genesis.
Thought-provoking. . a well-written presentation.