Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The First World War

This is the most comprehensive and insightful documentary about World War I I've ever been exposed to, and it's left me in a emotional and conceptual storm. I watched it while I was also listening to an unabridged audio book of version of The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History. I can't help but think that in the confluence of these two works there are a number of deadly important lessons for all of us; I just can't put to words what those lessons are.


Don Jason said...

Very good so far. It is a big contrast to what I have seen and read elsewhere, how they portray in the first part of the series the various European powers basically bumbling into the war by misjudging the intentions and actions of their neighbors, both friend and foe.

Mr. Alex said...

Glad you're enjoying them.

One of the more historically significant (and horrifically tragic, if true) assertions made in The Great Influenza is that Woodrow Wilson became infected with Influenza A(H1N1) during post-war negotiations and, as a result, suffered immediate brain-damage/character changes which lead to his abandonment of all of the principles of global politics he'd so vigorously championed during the war itself.

The insinuation is that if said infection hadn't occurred, Wilson never would have accepted what we know now as Treaty of Versailles, and that a more lasting peace with Germany may have been forged.