Armed Hostilities

“America’s Undeclared War” by Robert Willett

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Discussion of the book
  3. Ideas of the book
  4. Conclusion
  5. Reference


This essay entails my views about the American role in the First World War. As in many other areas of reading I have covered, this area is well discussed in the course text covered. There’s a clear understanding of the war that is brought out in this discussion that was not there before. Events leading to the war and those of the war come out as food for thought and new ideas are brought out that create more room for criticism.

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Discussion of the book

The author was very comprehensive in his discussion and this made reading and understanding the book quite easy. In his discussions, which are easy to follow, he uses simple language and the flow of events is easy to follow.

The best discussion is the reason for America’s involvement in the war. Its an indicator of the patience the leaders portrayed and their willingness to protect the country from adversaries, that is Germany. Their way of staying out of the war until they were forced to go to war shows that decision-making by the leaders was good and they were keen to protect American interests.

The use of correct chronological order of events and evidence-based arguments while stating different views from people who had an experience of the war makes the discussion not only very sensible but also quite agreeable. The use of quotations and direct argumentation focusing on original ideas gives the discussion a very strong baseline and leaves room for discussion but not for doubt. The focus on both sides of the war and evidence-based on experience is a fine way of bringing out the true picture of the war and then choosing the side to base the discussions on then making the arguments come out clearly.

Elaborating of support makes the discussion and ideas come out as being more clear. However, the inclination to one side, if keenly analyzed, is what can make one start to question the discussion. Again, this makes one want to buy ideas from the discussion instead of trying to understand it then getting new food for thought. There is also a high degree of bias as in the supportive data provided.

The lack of adequate discussion of post-war times creates abnormal darkness that needs to be cleared. There’s also a need to have enough photographic evidence as a support of the discussion that will give a very clear mental picture and act as an area to base our argument. The discussion also goes to great lengths in trying to bring an understanding of the discussion yet at times leaving one confused. The discussion of some events is very extensive and a lot of emphasis is put on these events that could as well be left out and still bring out the discussion very clearly. There needs to be more information about reasons for Germany’s decision to attack merchant ships, even those belonging to neutral states and events leading to the sinking of Lusitania, and even more discussions on Wilson and his role in the war.

Ideas of the book

New ideas brought out after understanding the war are out to be criticized but they also stand to be held as real. First, as much as the war was quite inevitable, America’s involvement in the war just made things worse. There was no reason enough to prompt the involvement of America in other people’s wars. I believe that extensive discussions would have stood out and this should have made the war end earlier. Diplomatic issues should have been solved diplomatically and not by taking the warpath.

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America should have protected its borders and warn its citizens abroad to assume a neutral role in the war and isolate themselves from others when it came to issues concerning the war. Wilson’s way of using the war as a means to be voted as president, by making America assume a neutral role in the war instead of acting as a mediator between the warring sides is unacceptable. However, the patience portrayed by America was of a high class and something to stand up for and be counted for.

The complexity of the war and events that led to it are clearly understood through the focusing discussions on either side. The major players in the war are portrayed in their true form. Issues revolving around America’s role in the war and the reason for its involvement in a war that it never started as a way of protecting its interests and defending its borders from threatening allays puts America in a position of discussion. Again, the events that led to the termination of a war that was meant to end a long time before its date of termination come out understandably.


There needs to be more material on the subject of world war one as in the form of quotations from major players in the war, survivors of the war who will give their first-hand experience of the war, and even the general population that was there during the war but did not participate in it.


Willett, Robert L., Russian Sideshow: America’s Undeclared War, (1918-1920),Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2003.

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