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100th EPISODE – Departures Podcast with Philip Zelikow, author of ‘The Road Less Traveled: The Secret Battle to End the Great War, 1916-1917’

To commemorate the 100th episode of our Departures with Robert Amsterdam podcast, for the first time we have invited back a return guest, one of our favorite authors, Philip Zelikow.

Dr. Zelikow is a renowned former diplomat, historian, lawyer academic, and author of extraordinary talent. He has formerly served as the Director of the 9/11 Commission, the former Counsel to State Department, National Security Council, and currently serves as the director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs of the University of Virginia.

In his latest book, “The Road Less Traveled: The Secret Battle to End the Great War, 1916-1917,” Zelikow examines the pivotal period of time when World War I could have ended – right before that fragile peace was squandered. Zelikow’s book unpacks and demystifies a period of failed diplomacy during the great war, and shows how the machinery of engagement works while providing a much more nuanced presentation and appreciation for the operational craft of peacemaking.

Speaking in the podcast with Robert Amsterdam, Zelikow reflects on the disastrous role of American diplomat Edward Mandell House. “Was he a fool or a villain? I would say probably a little bit of both,” Zelikow says. “If enough people read this book, they may need to post guards around Edward House’s grave to prevent it from being vandalized.”

[Editor’s note: listen to our previous podcast interview with Dr. Zelikow here.]