BORN IN ILLINOIS the same year that the Civil War ended, Republican Senator William Borah spent much of his political life attempting to keep the United States out of foreign wars and to prevent American participation in what he saw as dangerous international entanglements. Borah opposed entering World War I on the grounds that it was based on protecting American corporations rather than serving the interests of democracy. After the war, Borah became an “irreconcilable” opponent of the League of Nations proposed by President Woodrow Wilson. Borah was convinced that the British were influencing Wilson in order to protect their own political and economic interests. Borah and his powerful colleague, Henry Cabot Lodge, were ultimately successful in blocking the Treaty of Versailles, which the Senate ...

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