The Deluge

The Deluge

The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780670024926
  • 672  Pages
  • Viking Books


A searing and highly original analysis of the First World War and its anguished aftermath

In the depths of the Great War, with millions dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. The heart of the financial system
shifted from London to New York. The infinite demands for men and matériel reached into countries far from the front. The strain of the war ravaged all economic
and political assumptions, bringing unheard-of changes in the social and industrial

A century after the outbreak of fighting, Adam Tooze revisits this seismic moment in history, challenging the existing narrative of the war, its peace, and its aftereffects. From the day the United States enters the war in 1917 to the precipice of global financial ruin, Tooze delineates the world remade by American economic and military power.
Tracing the ways in which countries came to terms with America’s centrality—including the slide into fascism—The Deluge is a chilling work of great originality
that will fundamentally change how we view the legacy of World War I.


Praise for The Deluge

“In the centennial of WWI, Tooze’s work affords a reminder of that conflict’s immense impact on world
history. Abundant facts and figures stud his account of the postwar crises up to the end point of 1931, when President Herbert Hoover suspended debt and reparations repayments. Whatever that action’s merits, it illustrated the ability of the U.S. to act unilaterally. With this new power-factor as his theme, Tooze’s analysis, particularly of fears the American capitalist juggernaut provoked, should spark debate, especially in scholarly circles.”Booklist
“A thoroughly researched, much-needed reexamination of America’s role in the aftermath of World War I that will appeal to any reader interested in the interwar period.”— Library Journal
“In this landmark study, Tooze offers an elegant account of the reordering of great-power relations that took place after World War I, at the dawn of ‘the American century.’ He shows how in the period between the war and the onset of the Great Depression, the United States exercised its power in ‘peculiar’ ways, operating indirectly and focusing less on the military force. Tooze draws a parallel between post-World War I period and the ‘unipolar moment’ that followed the Soviet collapse near the end of the twentieth century. In both cases, U.S. leaders embraced an exceptionalist view of their country’s role in the world and sought to overturn a pluralistic world order based on the balance of power.”— Foreign Affairs
“Bold and ambitious… The Deluge is the work of a fine historian at the peak of his powers, formidable in its range and command of the material, written in strong, muscular prose…. The best of the current deluge of books about the first world war.”
—Ben Shephard, The Observer (UK)
“An utterly hynotic history of Europe’s fragile interwar peace…. What Tooze has done—a huge, formidable achievement—is to reconstruct a vast global web, and to show how the slightest vibrations on its threads had consequences everywhere, almost regardless of individual fears and hates or venomous ideologies. The breadth of his scholarship also frighteningly illuminates the fragility of peace.”
The Telegraph (UK)
“[Tooze’s] new book confirms his stature as an analyst of hugely complex political and economic issues…. Here, as in his earlier work, Tooze shows himself a formidably impressive chronicler of a critical period of modern history, unafraid of bold judgments.”
—Max Hastings, The Sunday Times (UK)
“Tooze’s book is an invaluable account of why the US and its allies, having defeated Germany in 1918, were unable thereafter to stabilise the world economy and build a collective security system.”
The Financial Times
“Amid all the current commemorative news, a clear and compelling rationale as to why it is actually worth going back and looking at the era of the First World War at this particular moment in time.”
—Neil Gregor, Literary Review