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September/October 2004 Historically Speaking solemn referendum" on the treaty and the League ofNations. The Democratic candidates followed his leadership and lost in one ofthe greatestlandslides inAmerican history. It was the American people who repudiated Woodrow Wilson, not some cabal ofconservative Republicans, as too many historians like to claim. What are we to make ofthis experience, almost a hundred years later? Should we write offWorld War I as some sort of bad dream? I think that would be a mistake. World War I happened. We can't make it go away. Perhaps the bestwayto lookatthe experience is through the lens ofan idea suggested bymygood friend, Rutgers historian Lloyd C. Gardner: a covenantwith power. Painfully, with mistakes aplenty, in World War I the United States learned that power, not idealistic principles , is at the heart ofhistory. At the Paris Peace Conference Wilson and the United States discovered that the self-interest ofother strongnations limitedAmerica's power. Additional limitations resided in the passions and dreams ofthe masses, perhaps even in human nature itself. When Wilson attempted to appeal to the Italian people over the head of Premier Vittorio Orlando, the entire nation denounced the man they had cheered hysterically in the streets of Rome and Milan. Still more limitations lay in the illusions of idealism—the expectation that slogans can be easily translated into meaningful realities. Nevertheless, idealism has remained a crucial component ofthe American covenant with power. But it has always been mixed with an often brutal pragmatic realism. I call this mix the great dichotomy. It runs through American history like a tangled and often bloody thread. In any application of this covenant with power, success will never be total, nor will it ever win unanimous agreement on the domestic political scene, where politicians of the opposition partywill be quick—often too quick—to criticize. But the free society of South Korea, the independent Philippines, the democracies ofGermany andJapan, and the free nations ofEastern Europe are proof that this unique American instrument can become a creative force for a peaceful world. For me, the importance ofthis covenant with power was underscored by my visits to the battlefields ofWorld War I, above all the Argonne. Ispentfive days traversingthe great valley, imagining German shells rainingdown from three sides. On the last dayI stopped in the Argonne Cemetery, where 14,200 Americans still lie beneath rows of white marble crosses. As I walked to my car, I could only hope that the men who guide America's covenantwith power in the 2 1st centurywill have the courage and the wisdom to manage our often perplexing blend of idealism and realism in the cause ofworld peace. God helping us, we now can do no other. ThomasFleming is the authorofmore than forty books, includingThe Illusion ofVictory : America in World War I (Basic Books, 2004). D.L. Moody and the Mass Media Revival Bruce J. Evensen I am a child ofrevival. In 1962 I was one of 704,900 who attended Billy Graham's meetings on Chicago's lakefront and one of 16,597 who came forward to express a personalneed for a savior. Today, Graham's reach is far wider. On Christmas Eve in 1996, speaking from a small sports stadium in Puerto Rico, Graham preached to a targeted one billion people across the planet. Satellite technology created this communication community . It reportedly reached a man in Sierra Leone, who borrowed money to repair an antenna so that "twenty two of my friends and neighbors couldwatch the Gospel on television ." At that very hour, 2,000 Ugandan churches opened their doors to television parties that showed the same program. Churches in the Philippines conducted immediate baptismal services for those who had "come to Christ." Pastors in Saltillo, Mexico said 20,000 saw Graham's "A Season for Peace" and reported many were curious about the condition oftheir souls. In Italy, event organizers reported 20,000 "decisions for Christ" following the worldwide television special. The romance between mass media and popular religion, practiced as an evangelistic art by Graham, was a development one of Graham's mentors, D.L. Moody, would have easily appreciated. During the late Gilded Age the former shoe salesman with a fourth...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-6438
Print ISSN
1941-4188
Pages
pp. 9-11
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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