Tag Archives: War Guilt Clause

Wilson’s Obsession – The League of Nations

Woodrow Wilson, is the only U.S. President with an earned doctorate – Ph.D. in Government and History, Johns Hopkins University, 1886. To say Wilson was a stubborn man would be like saying the Washington Monument is an obelisk. “Let them compromise,” became a mantra with Wilson – he knew better, and in the end it cost him dearly.

A month after the fighting on the Western Front ended in November, 1918, Wilson went to France to prepare for the Paris Peace Conference that would convene in January, 1919; his reception in Paris, London, and Rome was tumultuous; he was the conquering hero, the first international recognition that the United States was a GREAT NATION, and he was here to fashion a peace for the world. Sadly, it would end badly . . .  “A Peace to End All Peace,” said the title of David Fromkin’s 1986 book,

Max Blue in The War Guilt Clause, follows the peace conference through the eyes of correspondent Ed Frederick, and a bright-eyed, spiky Midwesterner with a pen of her own – Peggy Schooner, who enters Ed’s life at the first Paris press conference with the words “Wilson has it all wrong – the League of Nations is not the first priority – a peace treaty with Germany is.”

Wilson had it horribly wrong but was blind to see. He would not be swayed from his bull-headed insistence that the Covenant of the League of Nations must be included in the introduction to what became the Treaty of Versailles.

Here in 2013, it is widely seen that partisan politics is crippling the United States efforts to bring a better life to its citizens. In 1919, bitter hatred for a Democrat President, may have been worse :

Republican Senator William Borah of Idaho – “The Treaty of Versailles represents the most complete moral breakdown in the history of treaty writing.”

Democratic Senator James Phelan of California – “The President has achieved a great triumph; the Treaty of Versailles is a greater boon to mankind than the Magna Charta or the American Constitution.”

It remained for the much maligned future U.S. President, Herbert Hoover, to pen a phrase that might represent A Thought For All Seasons: “We are sadly in need of an idealism that transcends partisan politics – one rooted in principles beyond mere party allegiance.”

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From Times to War Guilt

Max Blue’s 1916 war novel called Times, was published in 2004; The War Guilt Clause will be published by Tate Publishing in October 2013. The two novels are tightly connected; the first half of War Guilt is a severely revised version of Times, primarily due to elimination of almost all baseball references which were a significant part of the earlier work. The ventures and adventures of the Frederick twins, Ted and Ed, along with Mary Cady are reprised in the new novel. The second half of The War Guilt Clause focuses on Ed as a war correspondent along with his newly found colleague at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, Peggy Schooner.

It all began in the Rowan University library where Max went to mine the New York Times microfilm archives for information about the 1916 New York Giants 26-game winning streak, an achievement that remains a record for Major League baseball. The Streak was what Max called his account – it can be seen online at http://baseballguru.com.

When Max opened the Times 1916 archives he quickly learned that more than baseball was on the minds of the country and the world. Long and detailed accounts of President Woodrow Wilson’s campaign for a second term, as well as informative articles about the views of Republican challenger Charles Evans Hughes, appeared day after day as the winning of John McGraw’s Giants proceeded through September and in to October. Something began to stir in the sequestered non-baseball section of Blue’s brain