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This volume finds the United States in the first stage of full mobilization and Wilson beset by problems. On August 27, 1918, he replies warmly to the Pope’s August 1 peace initiative. He sets prices for essential raw materials, intervenes to settle labor disputes, and tries to prevent suppression of civil liberties by federal agents.
Relations with the Allies are his major diplomatic concern. In response to an appeal from David Lloyd George, he relaxes his opposition to close cooperation and sends Colonel House and others to London to facilitate common action. Through Secretary of State Lansing, he opens negotiations with Viscount Kikujiro Ishii to attempt an understanding with Japan about the Far East.
The volume ends as the combined German and Austro-Hangarian armies rout the Italian army at Caporetto and threaten to knock Italy out of the war. The Bolsheviks seize power in Petrograd, and Russia’s withdrawel from the war seems inevitable.