The book I finished today: Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World.
The Armistice wasn't exactly a German surrender but also wasn't exactly not a surrender. Nor was it exactly the end of the war. The German treaty wasn't signed until June 28 1919, and some of other treaties weren't signed until the 1920s. In some places the fighting didn't end until the 1920s.
Paris 1919 is exactly what it sounds like: a history of the Paris Peace Conference. The author argues against certain aspects of conventional wisdom, such as Keynes's argument, from Economic Consequences of the Peace, that it was a punitive treaty that made another war inevitable. In other respects learning more about the subject pretty much confirms what you'd thought. Yep, they made a hash of it, and at times they casually made decisions about places they knew nothing about, and Wilson's behavior wasn't helpful.
One of the things you get from reading this book is an appreciation for just how huge the scope of the Peace Conference was, and how many interlocking decisions there were to make. I previously had had the mistaken impression that the Peace Conference chose to dismantle the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires and create the new states of Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. In fact all of those things were facts on the ground, in some cases unwelcome facts, that the Peace Conference had to deal with. A lot of the pre-war and wartime treaties no longer applied. (The conference did, however, create the states of Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon.) I hadn't quite realized how important Japan's role was, or the fact that Japan's top priority in Paris was an unsuccessful attempt to get a racial equality clause in the League of Nations charter. I hadn't realized how many of the conference's decisions had to do with the fear of Bolshevism, and with not knowing whether to negotiate with the Bolsheviks, or try to fight them, or do something else. I also hadn't realized the structural problem with the conference: the initial idea was that the five major Allied powers, Britain, France, the US, Italy, and Japan, would have a preliminary meeting to set an agenda and prepare for the conference itself — but that preliminary meeting turned out to be so complicated and time consuming that it turned into the actual conference without any explicit decision.
This book is primarily about the first six months of the Peace Conference (the important part), but it necessarily skips ahead at times. It was written in 2001, and some parts of its story go through the end of the 20th century. Some of the decisions from the first half of 1919 had long lasting consequences.