The First World War claimed a life every twenty-five seconds – for four years. What had been the point of it all?
It was believed that World War One was the ‘war to end all wars’. That the grief and loss suffered would result in a new world order, one in which peace and prosperity would replace inequality, injustice and power-grabbing swagger.
But 20 years after the guns fell silent, the war drums were banging again – louder and more lethal than ever. Why? Why did the peace that survivors prayed and paid for last little more than 20 years? Why did tyrants rise to control the fate of continents? Why did a world that had survived a war collapse into an unprecedented depression?
Two world wars tore the heart out of the 20th century. Between these two tragedies was an age that nostalgia views enthusiastically – a time of jazz, Charlie Chaplin, prohibition, the talkies, radio and the motor car. A time that history now reveals as an age of anxiety.
Told through archive and the insights of international historians, Impossible Peace is a story of twenty years of peace that produced war.