A Journalist's Diplomatic Mission: Ray Stannard Baker's World War I Diary

A Journalist's Diplomatic Mission: Ray Stannard Baker's World War I Diary


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At the height of World War I, in the winter of 1917—1918, one of the Progressive era's most successful muckracking journalists, Ray Stannard Baker (1870—1946), set out on a special mission to Europe on behalf of the Wilson administration. While posing as a foreign correspondent for the New Republic and the New York World, Baker assessed public opinion in Europe about the war and postwar settlement. American officials in the White House and State Department held Baker's wide-ranging, trenchant reports in high regard. After the war, Baker remained in government service as the president's press secretary at the Paris Peace Conference, where the Allied victors dictated the peace terms to the defeated Central Powers. Baker's position gave him an extraordinary vantage point from which to view history in the making. He kept a voluminous diary of his service to the president, beginning with his voyage to Europe and lasting through his time as press secretary. Unlike Baker's published books about Wilson, leavened by much reflection, his diary allows modern readers unfiltered impressions of key moments in history by a thoughtful inside observer.
Published here for the first time, this long-neglected source includes an introduction by John Maxwell Hamilton and Robert Mann that places Baker and his diary into historical context.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807144237
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 12/07/2012
Series: From Our Own Correspondent
Pages: 504
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Robert Mann holds the Manship Chair in Mass Communication and is director of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University.

John Maxwell Hamilton is the Hopkins P. Breazeale Professor and founding dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Part I Reporting on Public Opinion in Great Britain, France, and Italy

1 I Sail for England 3

2 London, and an Airplane Bombing 7

3 First Impressions of British Opinion 11

4 I Dine with Ambassador Page 18

5 Arthur Henderson and Other Labour and Radical Leaders 25

6 Great Battle in France 33

7 I Meet a Saint 40

8 The Peace-by-Negotiation Movement 47

9 Lord Mayor's Dinner 53

10 London in War Time 58

11 A Conversation with Bertrand Russell 62

12 The "Other Half" and the War 67

13 The Snowdens and the "I.L.P." 72

14 The House of Lords Solemnly Discusses the War 75

15 I Gather a Variety of British Opinions 82

16 I Visit Lord Charnwood at Lichfield 88

17 A Crucial English By-election 92

18 Sir Horace Plunkett and the Irish Problem 98

19 Ulster Speaks Its Mind 106

20 A Visit to the Pages at Sandwich 111

21 A Lull in the Battle 120

22 Wilson's Leadership in Europe 126

23 I Sit Between the Lion and the Unicorn 131

24 English Leaders and English Ideas 136

25 I Attend a Dramatic Meeting of the Labour Party Conference 141

26 I Attend an American Baseball Game 148

27 In London Again 154

28 The British Sense of Superiority 165

29 My Summaries of the Situation in England and France After Five Months 170

30 I Went Today to Dorking 180

31 Attitude of French Radicals Toward the War 185

32 I See Something of the War in Italy 190

33 The Piavi River Front and the War in the Alps 195

34 A Great Day in War-Shattered Venice 198

35 Great News in Milan and a Great Strike 200

36 Rome Again 205

37 Reverberations in Rome of Wilson's Responses to Germany 212

38 I Visit the Radical Leaders of Rome 217

39 My Report to the State Department from Italy 221

40 Night Train to Paris 230

Part II The Paris Peace Conference

1 I Arrive at Paris 233

2 The Heart of Wilson's Problem in Europe as I Saw It 240

3 The Armistice in Paris 245

4 I Return to Italy 252

5 Genoa and Florence 260

6 I Return to Paris 267

7 Wilson's Arrival in Paris 271

8 The King of Italy Visits the President 277

9 I Meet One of the Wisest Americans in Paris 284

10 Problems of Publicity at the Paris Peace Conference 290

11 Return Voyage to Paris with the Presidential Party 294

12 The President Throws a Bombshell 303

13 Efforts to Wear the President Down 313

14 The President Falls Ill 321

15 Northcliffe Attacks Lloyd George and Wilson 330

16 Great Battle over Japanese-Chinese Problems 341

17 May Day Riots in Paris 354

18 Greatest Day, So Far, of the Peace Conference 361

19 I Fly to Brussels 369

20 Jokers in the Treaty 380

21 Flooded with German Responses to Treaty Provisions 389

22 Several Important Conversations with the President 397

23 First Meeting of the Entire American Peace Commission 407

24 Europe Awakening to the Realities 413

25 Problem of Germany's Admission to the League 420

26 Wilson as a Story Teller 429

27 Breathless Final Days 437

Index 449

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