Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America’s Entry into World War I


Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America’s Entry into World War I

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This history of how Woodrow Wilson attempted to keep the United States out of World War I is also an exercise in nostalgia for an era when Americans debated a war before the president launched one rather than afterward. The book states that Americans greeted Germany's 1914 invasion of Belgium with horrified fascination, but with little sense of foreboding. Most citizens and President Woodrow Wilson favored the Allies, but wanted to remain neutral. The book recounts how this feeling gradually changed over two and a half years in response to Germany's self-defeating actions, the foremost being the new submarine warfare, which, raising fears for the safety of passenger ships, was viewed by many as no less ghastly than terrorism is today. It paints portraits of leading figures, many now obscure, including Franklin Delano, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Jennings Bryan, plus the jumble of newspapers, magazines, organizations, diplomats, and propagandists who fought (at times literally) over this issue.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY




978-0-8131-3003-3 (pdf version)


978-0-8131-4027-8 (epub version)



Germany, Belgium, Woodrow Wilson, Allies, Submarine warfare, Terrorism


Military History | United States History