World's End (Sinclair novel)

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World's End
First edition
Author Upton Sinclair
Country United States
Language English
Series Lanny Budd
Genre Historical novel
Publisher Viking Press (US)
T. Werner Laurie (UK)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Followed by Between Two Worlds

World's End is the first novel of Upton Sinclair's Lanny Budd series. First published in 1940, after World War II had begun in Europe the previous year, the story covers the period from 1913 to 1919, before and after World War I.

Plot summary[edit]

Lanny Budd is a teenage student at a private school in Germany for music and dance. Budd, born in Switzerland, is the grandson of the president of Budd Gunmakers in New England. His parents are American born: his father is the European sales representative, and his mother, his father's former mistress, is supported in grand style on the French Riviera.

The story follows Lanny Budd, his English schoolmate Rick, and his German friend Kurt through World War I. In the aftermath, Budd joins the staff of the U.S. delegation for the negotiation of the Treaty of Versailles. The plot and characters are developed to reveal historical facts as well as the ideological tensions at the time.

Budd was troubled by knowing his two closest friends were involved on opposite sides of the major war. Later he was disturbed by what he considered the failure of the negotiations at Versailles to get past the bitterness of the French and British people against Germany.