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The United States and World War I (1917–1918)
Citing Germany ‘s repeated violations of America ‘s rights as a neutral and vowing that the world ‘‘must be made safe for democracy,” Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war on April 2, 1917. Congress, despite some opposition, assented. Nearly 5 million Americans enlisted or were drafted, and more than 50,000 died in battle before the fighting stopped. Mobilizing for war, the government created new regulatory agencies, and women and numerous
African Americans who had migrated northward toiled in factories as replacements for fighting men. The civil liberties of those opposed to the war were severely constrained.
Suggestions for Term Papers
1. Compare arguments made for and against U.S. entry into the war.
2. Analyze U.S. military contributions to the Allied victory.
3. Discuss the contributions of women and minorities to the war effort.
4. How effective was propaganda in winning domestic support for the war?
5. Analyze the effects of the war on domestic civil liberties. Suggested Sources : See entries 16 and 18 for related items.
American Military History: A Guide to Reference and Information Resources . Daniel K. Blewett. Englewood , CO : Libraries Unlimited, 1995. Selectively annotated bibliography of reference sources treating all branches of the services and different wars. Separate chapter on World War I.
The Historical Atlas of World War I . Anthony Livesey. New York : Holt, 1994. Examines the war with over 100 color maps, along with photographs and illustrations.
The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia . Anne Cipriano Venzon, ed. Hamden , CT : Garland , 1995. Well-researched effort providing alphabetical arrangement of relevant topics and personalities regarding civil, political, and military aspects of the war.
The West Point Atlas of American Wars: The First World War . Brigadier General Vincent J. Esposito. New York : Holt, 1997. Large size with eighty-four full-color maps; up-to-date coverage from Bismarck ‘s Prussia to the League of Nations .
Snow, Donald M., and Dennis M. Drew. From Lexington to Desert Storm: War and Politics in the American Experience . Armonk , NY : Sharpe,
1992. Good coverage of both the military and political facets of all American wars, including World War I.
Tuchman, Barbara. The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World before the War, 1890–1914 . New York : Macmillan, 1966. Good background history of conditions prior to the war.
Background and Military Aspects
Bosco, Peter. World War I . New York : Facts on File, 1991. Complete account of U.S. participation with emphasis on the change from isolationism to intervention.
Brannen, Carl A., et al. Over There: A Marine in the Great War. College Station , TX : Texas A&M University Press, 1996. Based on Private Brannen’s memoirs. A useful account of the life and routine of a foot soldier from training to combat.
Bristow, Nancy K. Making Men Moral: Social Engineering during the Great War . New York : New York University Press, 1996. Detailed description of Wilson ‘s Commission on Training Camp Activities (1917), designed to prevent immoral and illegal behavior. From the publisher’s American Social Experience series.
Dolan, Edward F. America in World War I . Brookfield , CT : Millbrook, 1996. Concise and easy-to-read history of the war from its causes and reasons for U.S. participation to its conclusion.
Esposito, David M. The Legacy of Woodrow Wilson: American War Aims in World War I . Westport , CT : Praeger, 1996. Fine account of Wilson ‘s leadership during the war and his determination to create a lasting peace.
Halpern, Paul G. A Naval History of World War I . Annapolis , MD : Naval Institute, 1994. Up-to-date study.
Hansen, Arlen J. Gentlemen Volunteers: The Story of the American Ambulance Drivers in the Great War, August 1914–September 1918 . New York : Arcade Publishing, 1996. Interesting and informative examination of the volunteer ambulance drivers who came from all walks of life and provided assistance even before the United States became involved in the war.
Harries, Meirion, and Susie Harries. The Last Days of Innocence: America at War, 1917–1918 . New York : Random House, 1997. Focus on the last part of the war. Contains an extensive bibliography.
Hart, B. H. Liddell. The Real War, 1914–1918 . (1930). Reprint. Boston : Little, Brown, 1964. Classic history by a leading military historian. Many consider this the best history of World War I.
Heyman, Neil M. World War I . Westport , CT: Greenwood , 1997. Good picture of the American role in the war and developments on the home front.
Jantzen, Steven L. Hooray for Peace, Hurrah for War . New York : Facts on File, 1990. A readable, informative work with illustrations that examines the American experience on the home front and the battlefield.
Kennett, Lee B. The First Air War, 1914–1918 . New York : Free Press, 1991. Good overview of air participation.
Kirchberger, Joe H. The First World War: An Eyewitness History . New York : Facts on File, 1992. Firsthand accounts from speeches, letters, and newspapers. Includes chronologies and biographies.
O’Shea, Stephen. Back to the Front: An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War I . New York : Walker , 1997. Interesting account of a 500-mile walking tour of the trenches remaining from the war ( Verdun , Somme , Vimy, etc.).
Trask, David. F. The AEF and Coalition Warmaking, 1917–1918 . Lawrence : University of Kansas , 1993. Indispensable survey of the U.S. military contribution.
Tuchman, Barbara. The Guns of August . (1962). Reprint. New York : Macmillan, 1988. Pulitzer Prize–winning account of the heroism and valor in the war. Extensive bibliography.
Buitenhuis, Peter. The Great War of Words: British, American and Canadian Propaganda and Fiction , 1914–1933 . Vancouver : University of British Columbia Press, 1987. Literature as propaganda.
Isenberg, Michael T. War on Film: The American Cinema and World War I, 1914–1941 . Rutherford , NJ : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1981. Excellent analysis of movies’ effect on public morale.
Ross, Stewart Halsey. Propaganda for War: How the United States Was Conditioned to Fight the Great War of 1914–1918 . Jefferson , NC : McFarland, 1996. Treats the packaging and promotion of the war as an exercise in mass persuasion.
Cooper, Michael L. Hell Fighters: African American Soldiers in World War I . New York : Lodestar, 1997. Brief and readable story of a black regiment from New York .
Gavin, Lettie. American Women in World War I: They Also Served . Boulder , CO : University of Colorado Press, 1997. Comprehensive account of women’s role in the war through treatment of service in the various branches, as physicians and nurses, and so forth.
Greenwald, Maurine W. Women, War, and Work: The Impact of World War I on Women Workers . Westport , CT : Greenwood , 1980. Examines the topic through case studies.
Patton, Gerald W. War and Race: The Black Officer in the American Military, 1915–1941 . Westport , CT : Greenwood , 1981. Stories of pioneering African American military leaders.
Thom, Deborah. Nice Girls and Rude Girls: Women Workers in World War I . New York : St. Martin ‘s, 1998. Uses official records, other primary sources, and oral history to examine the industrial role of women and its development during the war.
Ferrell, Robert H. Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 1917–1921 . New York : Harper&Row, 1985. Wilson as a wartime leader.
America over There: United States in World War I, 1917–1918. Venice, CA : TMW Media Group, 1996. Videocassette. 72-minute video originally produced as a motion picture in 1927; enhanced with voice track and music.
World War I . New York : CBS/Fox Video, 1994. Five videocassettes. Comprehensive eleven-episode documentary of the war from beginning to end.
WORLD WIDE WEB
Plotke, Jane, et al. The World War I Document Archive . February 1996; updated frequently. http://www.lib.byu.edu/ rdh/wwi/index.html Excellent collectio n of documents, images, articles, and biographies relevant to the study of the war.