1917 by Arthur Herman


In 1917, Arthur Herman examines one crucial year and the two figures at its center who would set the course of modern world history: Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin. Though they were men of very different backgrounds and experiences, Herman reveals how Wilson and Lenin were very much alike. Both rose to supreme power, one through a democratic election; the other through violent revolution. Both transformed their countries by the policies they i...

Details 1917

Release DateNov 28th, 2017
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, North American Hi..., American History, World History, Cultural, Russia, European History, Biography

Reviews 1917

  • Carol Storm
    Fascinating history that covers an enormous amount of ground from bread riots in Czarist Russia to Woodrow Wilson's political infighting with Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge. The author's ultra-conservative viewpoint makes it slow-going at times, however. Dozens of references to "brutal" Lenin and "bloody" Trotsky, but Wilson's tacit support for lynching, murder and racial terror in the Jim Crow south is barely mentioned. Victor Davis Hanso...
  • Daniel Sladek
    The book covers a fascinating period of history. I enjoyed the book, but found it off-putting that the author occasionally couldn't restrain his opinions. He sometimes seeks to make tenuous extrapolations from the period in question to current affairs. For example, suggesting that Russian society lags far behind the West, or that many contemporary problems arise from the fact that France still thinks of itself as a great power. He offers no subst...
  • Gordon
    A must read for all interested in international relations and the history of the XX Century. Extremely well researched and written. Dr. Arthur Herman lays out how Lenin's and Wilson's powerful personalities and positions combined with their ideological views of societal forces and world order to shape the XX Century. Despite their lack of touch with reality and pragmatism these two leaders more than any others of their time influenced future even...
  • Chris Allen
    Saw this book at the library and picked it up because the subject fascinates me and because the author was obviously drawing, or attempting to draw parallels, between two of the pivotal figures in the 20th century in Wilson and Lenin. Sounded interesting. Turned it over, as I always do, to the "Advance Praise" section on the back cover and lost some of my enthusiasm almost immediately, as the first three blurbs come from Steve Forbes, Victor Davi...
  • Lynn
    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Harper Collins. Today's Nonfiction post is on 1917: Vladimir Lenin, Woodrow Wilson, and the Year that Created the Modern Age by Arthur Herman. It is 448 pages long and is published by Harper Collins. The cover has the eyes of the two leaders with the title below in red. The intended reader is someone interested in World War 1 history. There is some mild language, no sex, and talk...
  • Ben House
    “Emerging from the forge of war in 1917 was the active role of government in every aspect of daily life, and the rising expectation that government can fix every problem and deal with every crisis from economic depression to childcare and climate change.” (Page 236)This past year marked the 100th year anniversary of the Russian Revolutions. Most of the applauding and celebrating came from those who rejoiced in the fall, rather than the rise o...
  • Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
    Honesty time, Not much of this was new to me and there were times that it read as slow as molasses, maybe because of that.BUT, the conclusions about Wilson were insightful and in line with what I have always thought. They were the true golden nuggets Herman's work.In a nutshell, his actions have always seemed noble; it was his stubbornness, the ideals of upbringing in the Protestant faith and bigotry that really failed him. They failed him and th...
  • Neil
    The historical narrative is well-researched and well-written, the conclusion is strange and it’s unclear exactly what the author thinks should have been done in 1917 or what should be done going forward. Also his views of the Chinese government as agents of orthodox (and therefore revolutionary) Marxism-Leninism is a bit odd given the history of China since Mao’s death. Also it’s strange that the author insists that Wilson is at fault for t...
  • Brian Skinner
    This book shows how similar Vladimir Lenin and Woodrow Wilson were. They were both utopians who both in their own way messed up the future for their respective countries. Lenin was far more evil but Woodrow Wilson could be ruthless as well as evidenced by his mass jailing of citizens for exercising their freedom of speech. I liked a particular part where it talked about Wilson giving a speech in the Salt lake tabernacle. He quoted one of his riva...
  • Danny Cerullo
    A unique look at World War I in that the book is concerned with two significant powers lingering mainly on the sidelines of the conflict. Herman compares and contrasts Lenin and Woodrow Wilson's personalities and quests for power and isn't particularly kind to either of them. 1917 assumes you know all the terrible things Lenin did so he spends more time on the damage Wilson's presidency did to the international stage and how just a little bit of ...
  • Scott Jones
    Fantastic analysis of the things Wilson and Lenin did - and did not - have in common, and how their decisions have affected the world through modern times! The breadth of this book is quite impressive, especially given it is < 500 pages. It really helped fill in the gaps of knowledge I had after what I learned in school and (mostly) read on my own. Would recommend it without question! If you are interested in that time it will really give another...
  • T.P. Williams
    Nice touch - dual biographies of Wilson and Lenin and dual accounts of their antagonists, Lodge and Kerensky. Very good background information on lead up to U.S. involvement in WW 1. Very good depiction of personalities of the two leaders. I also liked the “what if” rumination of author if certain events had or had not happened. Less good was what I felt was a not quite even-handed approach toward Wilson which was an undercurrent in the book ...
  • Steve
    A interesting book of how two different leaders impacted the world with ideas of freedom and revolution. On April 6, 1917, United States President Woodrow Wilson sent American troops to France to fight for freedom and democracy against Germany in the First World War. Meanwhile In October, 1917, Vladimir Lenin started the Communist revolution in Russia and overthrew the democratic rule of the czar. Two different world leaders with two different id...
  • Eric
    History matters. I wish some of our current politicians had been required to read books like this one. I learned a lot about the events that transpired during the period of the "War to End All Wars" and how they led to what has followed. At so many points a slightly different approach to a given situation could have made the rest of the 20th century and today's world look a whole lot different. I confess that this is one of those books that I had...
  • Katie
    This book has an interesting premise and idea, but it isn't backed up with much. The author's arguments are logically for the most part but primarily based on research that isn't primary. It makes for a fun read but it's not anything to write home about. It's pop history.
  • Scott
    Some intersting facts but...Opinion gets in the way with an American bias
  • Jim Kuhlman
    Errors. Especially statement p. 324: "Russia had never lost a war before . . . ." Context was why Bolsheviks hesitated to accept Brest-Livtosk. Otherwise, pretty good. Can't trust authority.
  • Tom
    I recommend that the President's staff read this.
  • Philip Kuhn
    A really interested and well written and well researched book. The author makes a dual biography of two men--Lenin and Wilson--who are never put together before but probably should have been. The two were actually a lot like and wanted similar things, only Lenin had violence and terror to achieve his aims where Wilson would find those things abhorrent. The author does a great job tying the two together in the last few chapters and the conclusion.
  • Robin Case
    Well written story that emphasizes political rather than military events during the middle and end of World War 1. This is appropriate for a general audience including those new to politics and history. Very readable. Be prepared to not like President Woodrow Wilson. He isn't the nicest person ever born. Lenin isn't anybody's idea of Prince Charming either. History is created by people for people. Highly recommended.