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The Roosevelt Gambit

320 pages
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Historical notes about "The Roosevelt Gambit"

Author's Note:

When I was writing The Roosevelt Gambit, then known by the working title of Gambit, it seemed to me that I was trying to create a situation that most folks would not understand. Because most Americans know very little about the Mexican Revolution, I felt a little Mexican Revolution 101 might be helpful.

Frankly, I have always felt that the following pages are an excellent synopsis of the events in Mexico, which came to be known as the Mexican Revolution–of course there were revolutions inside the Revolution.

(This was the first thing to be cut by the editor.)

The conflict that came to be known as World War I, had its origin several thousand years ago, but in Europe the year 1906 is as good a benchmark as any. That year, with the launching of the radically new British battleship H.M.S. Dreadnought, a naval arms race between England and Germany began that spiraled towards August, 1914, and the war to end all wars.

First, in 1903 a Triple Alliance was created between Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy; subsequently, renewed and updated in 1912, it continued to be known as the Triple Alliance, but now Turkey and Bulgaria were added to the mix. They were drawn together by similar forms of government, i.e. parliamentary oligarchies.

And since we live in a World controlled by the laws of physics, there was an opposite reaction of equal force. This was known as the Entente Cordiale of 1904, between France and England; which subsequently evolved into the Triple Entente by 1907, when it added Russia.

This would seem to be contradictory, since at the time, Russia was also an oligarchy, dealing with two Parliamentary democracies; however, Russians had long admired all things French, and no self-respecting Russian prince of the day would have been without a pied à terre in the St. Germaine du Pres District of Paris.

Naturally, as so often has occurred in the affairs of men (and some say God has no sense of humor) the irony for both the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance, was that they were designed to balance each other, thus ensuring peace by a balance of forces.

However, in the end, they served an entirely different purpose, the inter-locking series of obligatory treaties facilitated a headlong rush to war. They were like on-belayed mountain climbers, when one went, they all went.

For a few dozen middle aged or older men, who themselves would never come close to combat, to so drastically affect the course of mankind is of course perfectly natural. This has happened repeatedly throughout History, indeed it is History.

Individual human beings, as yet, have not been given the opportunity to vote yea or nay about whether or not there is conflict. There always has been conflict, and given the nature and condition of mankind, it is likely there always will be conflict. Indeed, the global competition amongst ever decreasing numbers of “haves” and increasing numbers of “have-nots” virtually assures it. Events just seem to overtake us.


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