TidePool Press

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Loaded with Dynamite: Unintended Consequences of Woodrow Wilson's Idealism
by H.D.S Greenway

“Woodrow Wilson’s soaring rhetoric of self-determination and democracy at the Versailles peace conference of 1919 failed to sway the great powers, but it inspired revolts in Italy, Morocco and China. Greenway gives us a clear and succinct description of the politics that crucial summer. More important, he gives us brilliant portraits of the fascinating rebels, Gabriele d’Annunzio, Abd el-Krim and Sun Yat-sen, all of whom have had enduring legacies.”

author of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
and Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and
the Americans in Vietnam

“A book about Woodrow Wilson’s diplomacy sounds likely to be dry and dull, but in Greenway’s hands, it becomes a wild adventure. Italian pirates, Moroccan warlords, and Chinese revolutionaries shape a grand narrative of rising nationalism and anti-colonial passion. Combining vivid stories with deep historical insight, Greenway makes a persuasive case that Wilson’s well-meaning idealism wound up igniting conflicts that have troubled the world for more than a century.”

author of Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
and Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and
the CIA Search for Mind Control

“Loaded with Dynamite lives up to its name. With impeccable research and irresistible drama, H.D.S. Greenway recreates the surging emotions of 1919, when it seemed like a new world might be built on the ashes of the old. It’s short-sighted to dismiss Wilson as many routinely do, but it turned out the world was neither as safe nor as democratic as Wilson had promised. It would turn out to be a long century. This is a wonderful and timely book for history-lovers and general readers alike.”

author of Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington
editor of American Speeches: Political Oratory from
the American Revolution to the Civil War

Loaded with Dynamite

Price: $28.00
Published in: 2021
• 224 pages
ISBN 978-0-9978482-7-4

(In Stock Now)

About H.D.S Greenway

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“LOADED WITH DYNAMITE,” was the prescient reaction of Woodrow Wilson’s secretary of state when he heard the president promote national self-determination at the Paris Peace Conference in 1920. Wilson’s call became a rallying cry to the many rather than the select few for whom it was intended.

In exploring the unintended consequences—some still with us today—distinguished foreign correspondent H.D.S. Greenway brings to bear a lifetime of on-the-ground field reporting as well as a rare mix of political savvy, historical insight, global experience, and lively prose. Loaded with Dynamite: Unintended Consequences of Woodrow Wilson’s Idealism is the riveting story of three very different liberators—Gabriele d’Annunzio, Abd el-Krim, and Sun Yat-sen—whose nationalist aspirations were catalyzed by Wilson’s progressive declaration. Greenway, whose assignments have included Saigon, Jerusalem, and Baghdad, has witnessed first hand the confounding legacy of Wilson’s idealism in American foreign policy.

Colorful and resolute, the three nationalists led rebellions that transcended their place and time. In no small part, d’Annunzio begat Mussolini; Abd el-Krim begat the post World War I armed resistance to colonialism that would lead to Vietnam, Algeria, and the end of empires; and Sun Yat-sen begat both Mao and Chiang Kai-shek. Each has been chronicled separately, but Greenway has persuasively connected them and identified their shared root in Wilson’s inspired but empty rhetoric. Historically compelling and profoundly relevant today, Loaded with Dynamite enriches contemporary questions about globalization and the trade-offs between engagement and isolation that remain as perplexing today as they were a century ago.