Sunday, July 14, 2013
1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War (PublicAffairs), by Charles Emmerson
In 1913 only those prone to anxiety imagined their world coming to an end, and even among them, the full calamity of World War I (1914-18) was almost inconceivable. Charles Emmerson investigates the final year of the old world order by fanning out across the globe to explore life in Shanghai, Tehran, Bombay, Buenos Aires and Algiers, as well as the more familiar London, New York, Paris and Berlin. Witty and knowledgeable, Emmerson packs his account with telling anecdotes. The world of 1913 seemed on its way to a global economy in which war was impractical by dint of being unprofitable. Americans were great believers in progress but for some people, things were getting worse. In 1913, Washington, D.C., officially became more—not less—racially segregated.