At 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, guns fell silent across Europe after four years of bloody conflict. The Great War had spanned the globe and eventually drawn in a reluctant United States. In 1918, the United States stepped forward as an economic and military leader of a nascent international order, only to withdraw its support. The world was soon set on a path toward the tumultuous interwar years and the eventual outbreak of World War II.
To mark the centennial remembrance of Armistice Day, Brookings Senior Fellow Robert Kagan and Columbia Professor Adam Tooze discussed how those decisions and events unfolded, and how they affected the subsequent course of history, right up until today. The conversation drew on Kagan’s latest book, “The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World” (Knopf, 2018), as well as Tooze’s “The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931” (Penguin Random House, 2015) and “Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World” (Penguin Random House 2018).
Brookings President John R. Allen provided introductory remarks. Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, moderated the discussion. Questions from the audience followed the conversation.