This chapter describes the coming of the First World War, and its threat to the social world. The First World War shocked the world but simultaneously fulfilled the expectation of an epic conflict between the great nations of the world, which would ultimately purge and strengthen the civilized and virtuous races of humankind. Henry James, Grace Fallow Norton, and Edith Wharton were among many American exiles for whom London and Paris were irresistible points of cultural attraction and production, and centers of the very “civilization” which appeared to be threatened by the political and military maneuvers of the European nation-states.
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