... lively and enthralling ... brings together a fascinating array of characters ... the real strength of The Approaching Storm is not its colorful and well-drawn supporting cast but the three pivotal figures at its center, who provide a remarkably revealing lens for viewing the unrelenting internecine conflicts that roiled the American home front during World War I and well into the years beyond.
... brings the reader on a journey whose destination is preordained. However, the people and circumstances that guide the way form the crux of a brilliantly told history. The heart of the book consists of the three robust personalities caught in the middle of a rapidly escalating situation. Author Neil Lanctot relates the past with elegance and flair.
Lanctot shifts smoothly among these pivotal personalities and makes the details of this broadly ranging history accessible to all sorts of readers. He covers some of the same territory Barbara Tuchman explored in her iconic The Guns of August, but Lanctot’s focus on the roles of these three titanic figures contributes a unique and valuable view of America’s place in the Great War’s genesis.
In this thought-provoking narrative, Lanctot saves speculation until the end, where he conjectures that if Wilson had made different decisions during his presidency, a longer and less conclusive conflict might have beneficially resulted in a sustainable global power equilibrium ... Lanctot offers a well-written presentation on a familiar topic
... a fresh, character-driven look at the debate over America’s entry into WWI ... Lanctot smoothly toggles between his three main subjects and intriguing secondary characters including Hungarian suffragist and pacifist Rosika Schwimmer and American novelist James Norman Hall, who volunteered to fight with the British. The result is a rich and rewarding portrait of a crucial turning point in American history.
... meticulously researched ... Lanctot’s book is too long and his prose too wordy, but he delivers an interesting take on how Addams, Roosevelt, and Wilson interacted in alternately cooperative and competitive ways ... A rigorous, dense historical study that reveals how three individuals helped pave the way for the American century.