Every volume of Churchill's great epic of the war has aroused discussion and dispute, and it is inevitable that this last volume, dealing with the critical years 1918 to 1922, should give rise to disagreement in some and disappointment in others. The fact remains, however, that the chaotic post-war period calls for a genius in description, and that Churchill rises to the heights he attained in his depiction of the earlier international anarchy. It would be quite impossible to analyze here the complete content of this crowded book, but attention must be called to the fascinating chapters on the Peace Conference, the Russian situation and the Near Eastern crisis, as well as to the highly informative pages on the Irish settlement. The impression left on the reader is an uninspiring one of indecision and bungling on the part of the Allies, who appear hardly as great in victory as in the hour of trial. Churchill pictures himself as championing reconciliation with Germany from the very time of the armistice, but with great mastery and skill he recreates the general atmosphere then prevailing and shows why a sensible policy was almost impossible. The last chapter, which more or less draws together the story of the whole five volumes, is of particular interest.
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