Explaining the Turning Point of the First World War: The Road Less Traveled

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Monday, June 14, 2021 Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Philip Zelikow discusses his new book, The Road Less Traveled: The Secret Battle to End the Great War, 1916-1917, which seeks to explain how it is that the First World War did not end midway through, but instead widened to embroil the United States and tip much of Eurasia into general catastrophe. The book has been described in the Times Literary Supplement as “enthralling … a masterpiece … a page-turning narrative based on meticulous archival scholarship yet a pleasure to read, the characters deftly drawn, the locations vividly realized … an instant classic of diplomatic history.”

Philip Zelikow is the White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. A former career diplomat, he was the executive director of the 9/11 Commission and has worked on international policy in each of the five administrations from Reagan through Obama. His scholarship focuses on critical episodes in American and world history.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM This talk is part of the History Working Group Seminar Series. A central piece of the History Working Group is the seminar series, which is hosted in partnership with the Hoover Library & Archives. The seminar series was launched in the fall of 2019, and thus far has included six talks from Hoover research fellows, visiting scholars, and Stanford faculty. The seminars provide outside experts with an opportunity to present their research and receive feedback on their work. While the lunch seminars have grown in reputation, they have been purposefully kept small in order to ensure that the discussion retains a good seminar atmosphere.

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