Jim Powell, historian, author and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, discusses his classic article for Armistice Day “What We Can Learn From Woodrow Wilson’s Great Blunder;” how US entry into WWI ended the stalemate that would have produced negotiated settlements and paved the way for Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and WWII; how Wilson’s weak negotiating skills failed to prevent the vengeful Treaty of Versailles and the rise of German nationalism; how “war socialism” contributed more to post-war German hyperinflation than reparation payments; the Ottoman Empire’s destruction and subsequent formation of ill-conceived new countries; and the tens of millions killed by their own communist governments in Russia and China.
MP3 here. (31:28)
Jim Powell, senior fellow at the CATO Institute, is an expert in the history of liberty. He has lectured in England, Germany, Japan, Argentina and Brazil as well as at Harvard, Stanford and other universities across the United States. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Audacity/American Heritage and other publications.
He is the author of several books, including Wilson’s War: How Woodrow Wilson’s Great Blunder Led to Hitler, Lenin, Stalin and World War II and The Triumph of Liberty, A 2,000 Year History Told Through The Lives Of Freedom’s Greatest Champions (Free Press, 2000), with a foreword by Paul Johnson. This book chronicles heroic struggles against tyranny, slavery, war and mass murder. Powell’s book FDR’s Folly, How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression (2003) reported a wide range of findings – ignored by political historians and biographers – about the unexpected consequences of New Deal policies. Thomas Sowell wrote: “Only now has a book been written in language that non-economists can understand which argues persuasively that the policies of the Roosevelt administration actually prolonged the depression and made it worse.”