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31 October 2018

Leader: The long shadow of the First World War

As we mark the centenary of the Armistice, all that is clear is that the peace was as intractable as the war.

By New Statesman

In 1918, at the end of the First World War, some 17 million soldiers and civilians lay dead and 23 million were wounded, yet the ensuing peace was riddled with inconsistencies that were to have dire outcomes later in the century.

What would have happened had the voices that argued for continuing the war and taking it into Germany itself prevailed? What if John Maynard Keynes had won the day with his conviction that a pragmatic settlement imposed on Germany was the only credible outcome? And was the war really as futile as it now seems or was it a mercifully short conflict that could have been much longer and bloodier? This issue, four distinguished historians consider these questions. As we mark the centenary of the Armistice, all that is clear is that the peace was as intractable as the war.

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This article appears in the 31 Oct 2018 issue of the New Statesman, The Great War’s long shadow

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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