Multcolib Central On Display: World War I
Annotation:1930s-era news clippings about Oregon World War I veterans, collected by Multnomah County Library staff. Clippings are from newspapers around the state -- most are human interest features or obituaries. For in-library use only.
Annotation:It’s exactly what it says, letters from Oregon soldiers in France back home. If you want a feel for the time, a sense of why young men volunteered, or insight into the feelings of soldiers far from home, then this is a great place to start.
Annotation:This is a great book about the American experience in WWI. Farwell is most interested in the stories of common soldiers much more than those of generals and leaders of state. It is relatively brief but a well- balanced and well-rounded look at the war.
Annotation:Zeigler focuses on the American home front to a much greater degree than the other books on this list. He gives a clear and engaging account of the many ways that the war profoundly changed the trajectory of American political, social and economic institutions.
Annotation:This is an appealing work focused on the American experience in WWI and how it changed the American psyche from one of innocence and hope to cynicism. Military operations are a central part of the book from the highest levels to the well-executed descriptions of combat.
Annotation:What makes this book unique is the source. In 2003 the author sought out the few surviving veterans of WWI, all of whom were over 100 years old by then, and recorded their experiences. It is a moving and often surprising look at the war as it ceases being part of our society’s living memory.
Annotation:If you watched HBO’s Band of Brothers (or read the Stephen Ambrose book upon which it was based) this will feel familiar. Nelson follows the members of Company D from their recruitment through the end of WWI and beyond. The reader gains a deeper insight into the everyday experience of the war through the microcosm of this 250-man unit that experienced some of the most intense fighting of any American unit in the war.
Annotation:Few American memoirs of the First World War are as well-written and interesting as this one. Allen paints a vivid picture of life in the Army and the experience of combat. Unlike some memoirs, this one does not sentimentalize the experience of war.
Annotation:Here is a fascinating look at the fate of many WWI veterans in United States. American soldiers during the war missed out on lucrative jobs in the war economy to defend the country. As a reward, Congress granted them an insurance policy that would mature in 1945. When the Depression hit, many veterans asked the Federal government to pay their bonus early but to no avail. This led to the first mass rally in Washington DC which traces its start to Portland, OR. It ended in violence and the fate of many of these Bonus Marchers is truly tragic.
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The 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War has got us thinking about what it might have been like to actually be there, 100 years ago. So, here's our list of WWI books about American participation in the war, and personal narratives about wartime. These stories provide some context and insight into the American experience in World War I. --Rod M.