WW1 Centenary | Enter the Peace Broker

On 2 April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went to Congress to seek permission to declare war. He was met with tumultuous applause. On 6 April 1917, America entered the First World War. Only six months earlier, its people had re-elected Wilson on a peace ticket. What finally persuaded the former Princeton professor and advocate of ‘peace without victory’ to turn belligerent?

A story of duplicity and diplomatic intrigue, our new five-part podcast drama, Enter the Peace Broker by Martyn Wade – with introductions by military historian Professor Sir Hew Strachan – brings alive events leading up to US entry into WW1 on 6 April 1917.

Episode 1 | When the Lusitania Went Down
Colonel House, President Wilson’s right-hand man, arrives in Britain to negotiate peace.



Episode 2 | The Hero of the European War
Peace remains elusive, but President Wilson refuses to be drawn by German belligerence.



Episode 3 | I Didn’t Raise My Boy to be a Soldier
The push for peace intensifies as Germany and America each makes a formal proposal.



Episode 4 | It’s a Long Way to Berlin
Germany declares unrestricted U-boat warfare, but President Wilson is set on peace.



Episode 5 | Johnny, Get Your Gun
The US declares war and Britain sends Foreign Secretary Balfour to the US to press its case.



Characters and cast (in order of appearance)

Lord Northcliffe | Henry Goodman
Owner of The Times & The Daily Mail
Colonel House | Nathan Osgood   
Adviser to President Wilson
Count von Bernstorff | Chris Pavlo 
German Ambassador to Washington
William Hines Page | William Hope  
US Ambassador to London
Evelyn, Countess (later Princess) Blücher | Jasmine Hyde
An English Wife in Berlin
Kurt Riezler | Gunnar Cauthery
Private Secretary to Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg
Margot Asquith | Sophie Thompson 
Wife of Prime Minister HH Asquith
AJ Balfour | Tim Woodward 
First Lord of the Admiralty, then Foreign Secretary
Edith Wilson | Laurel Lefkow  
President Woodrow Wilson’s second wife
Frances Stevenson | Tuppence Middleton    
Secretary, mistress, and later wife of Lloyd George,
Secretary of State for War and later Prime Minister

Songs performed by Jessica Walker, with James Holmes on piano

Script consultant | Professor Sir Hew Strachan
Producer | Catriona Oliphant
Director | Elizabeth Rigbey
Sound design | David Chilton

Our thanks to all those who took part in the project – it has been enormous fun – and to PastPorte with whom we have been collaborating on distribution.  Finally, especial thanks to the Rothermere Foundation, whose generous support made this podcast possible.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 at 6:15 pm and is filed under Our work, Podcast. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. An excellent production. Extremely interesting with a great range of voices. Lots to follow and understand. Very real.

    Comment by Kate Barnwell on 6 May 2017 at 10:16 am

  2. Kate – Delighted you enjoyed it. Tim Woodward made a splendid Balfour. Do spread the word! Catriona

    Comment by chrome on 6 May 2017 at 11:36 am

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