Burton Yale Pines

Burton Yale Pines
America’s Greatest Blunder: The Fateful Decision to Enter World War One
Entering World War One against Germany was America’s greatest blunder of the 20th century. America had no reason to join the devastating three-year-old struggle. By sending two million doughboys to the Western Front, America shattered the battlefield stalemate and won the war. This allowed Britain and France to impose a devastating peace on Germany, thus igniting toxic German cries for revenge.

Absent America’s entry into the war, the exhausted belligerents almost certainly would have been forced—by the mounting food and other shortages on their home fronts, by their looming economic bankruptcies, by the plunging morale and rising restlessness of their populations and by the fast-dwindling supply of fresh manpower for their armies—to drag themselves, however distastefully, to a negotiating table. There they would have ended the conflict as all of Europe’s continent-wide wars had been ended since the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, by compromises and tradeoffs. There would have been no victor, no vanquished, no punishing Versailles Treaty, no German demands for revenge, no Hitler and surely no World War Two and even no Cold War.

The tale of how America stumbled into the war is told by America’s Greatest Blunder. It is pegged to the centenary of the war’s August 1914 outbreak and chronicles how America abandoned sensible neutrality, how British propaganda in America succeeded and German propaganda failed, how America mobilized an army of millions while igniting “white hot” fervor of patriotism at home to back the war, how America’s doughboys won the war, why the armistice and peace broke America’s promises to Germany and how the war could have ended differently had America not entered. But, of course, America did enter and so doing helped launch the young century on its course of decades of unprecedented violence.
Back to Basics: The Traditionalist Movement that is Sweeping Grassroots America (William Morrow, 1982)

Out of Focus: Network Television and the American Economy (Regnery-Gateway, 1992)
New York, NY
Burton Yale Pines is the author of the new, prize-winning history of America’s entry into World War One, pegged to the centenary of the war’s August 1914 outbreak. In writing America’s Greatest Blunder: The Fateful Decision to Enter World War One, Pines mobilizes his decades of experience observing policy-making and historical crises.

Initially trained as a historian at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), where he taught European history to undergraduates, he later joined Time Magazine, reporting from Germany, Viet Nam, Chicago and Vienna, where he was East European Bureau Chief. Then, as a Time editor, he chronicled much of the Cold War. Later, for more than a decade in Washington, as a think-tank executive, he witnessed first-hand the making of foreign and national security policy.

He is a three-time winner of the New York Newspaper Guild’s “Page One Award for Excellence in Journalism” and the recipient of the Freedom’s Foundation’s “Valley Forge Honor Certificate” for his book Back to Basics: The Traditionalist Movement that is Sweeping Grassroots America (William Morrow, 1982). He also is the author of Out of Focus: Network Television and the American Economy (Regnery-Gateway, 1992). His op-ed essays on foreign policy and national defense policy have appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other national publications. He grew up in Chicago, attended Nicholas Senn High School and now lives in Manhattan.
World War One
American foreign policy
The Cold War
American national security and defense policy