Review: ‘The Great War,’ When America Took the World Stage By Mike Hale

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Speaking just over a century ago about national defense — at a time when he was still fervently engaged in keeping the United States out of World War I — Woodrow Wilson intoned, “While America contains every element of fine force and accomplishment, America does not constitute the major part of the world.”

It was a simple fact in 1916, and remains so, but it’s hard to imagine a politician — much less a president — stating it so baldly today. The “American Experience” documentary “The Great War,” a three-night, six-hour production beginning Monday on PBS, paints a detailed and entertaining picture of the years when America began to think of itself as the major part of the world.

The documentary is pegged to the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I, but it feels as if it could be responding to current events, with alliances born out of the Great War being called into question and American politics warped by the desire to turn back the clock.

Read the rest of the review in the New York Times