Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World - Richard Holbrooke, Margaret MacMillan This is pretty good - well written, structured, no noticeable weird ideological quirks, good balance of anecdotes and data, etc, etc. On the other hand, the book seems to be more concerned with what's important than what is interesting, at least for my particular interests. There's a great deal about the, well, really big important decisions and failures and successes, focusing on Poland, Austro-Hungary, Ottomans, Germany, etc, and some about the League of Nations and all that.

I think the point is to follow through the diplomatic and political wrangling behind the decisions, but often there's also a great deal of general information which is already staggeringly well known, in a general sort of way. (Germany was made to sign a treaty it was unhappy with. The Ottoman empire got dismembered, etc, etc.) So sometimes I had the sense of the book being more of a collection of essays about "stuff that happened after WW1", (albeit a lively and interesting one) with the conference itself being more of a common touchstone than about the conference.

This seems like a bit of a shame, because there seems to have been a ton of weirdness going on around the edges that is only mentioned in passing, for the sake of colorful scene setting. There were dozens of countries and delegations there, trying to achieve any number of things. Most of them, presumably, failed (or history would bother to remember them,) but I still would have liked to know a lot more about it. It's not just because I like knowing about the weird stuff (c'mon, who doesn't like the weird stuff?) but because it seems like it would give more of an insight into the context and praxis of that point in history. From here, those decisions all seem so ephemeral, that what I really wanted from the book was more of an understanding ot the logic of the moment, what people(s) seemed to have thought was achievable, or at least worth making a noise about, because I already know how it ended.