From Progressivism to Prosperity: World War I and American Society

By Neil A. Wynn | Go to book overview

Introduction
War, Reform, and Social Change—
The First World War in American
History

A British reviewer recently wrote that one of the major products of war in the twentieth century has been a mountain of written records, so much so that in the British case at least, it seems as if there has been as much writing as fighting. In fact, the reviewer could have gone further in his observation: the writing continued once the fighting had ceased as the professional historians began to endlessly examine, discuss, and debate the causes and effects of the conflicts so recently ended. In part this has been due to a desire to justify national policies, but it is also a recognition of the role war has had in shaping modem European institutions and cultures. Thus another British historian could conclude, sadly, that

war has been not only one of the favourite collective occupations of the
human race but also one of the most revealing. It has been a formative
influence in the development of every society…. It has … reflected
the characteristics of peoples engaged in it…. Thus to examine a
nation's experience of war and its response to it is to learn something
about its values, its social order and the way in which it has developed. 1

This wider recognition of war's significance is now an established fact among British historians and scholars generally, in large part as a consequence of the work of historians such as Arthur Marwick, Alan Milward, Geoffrey Best, and others. "War and society" courses ranging from

-xiii-

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From Progressivism to Prosperity: World War I and American Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • From Progressivism to Prosperity *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Note on Sources xi
  • Introduction War, Reform, and Social Change— the First World War in American History xiii
  • Notes xx
  • From Progressivism to Prosperity *
  • 1: The Progressive Era American Society, 1900-1914 1
  • Notes 23
  • 2: From Peace to War 1914-1917 26
  • Notes 38
  • 3: Mobilizing the Population for War Propaganda and Civil Liberties 41
  • Notes 61
  • 4: Organizing for War Government, Business, and the Economy 65
  • Notes 82
  • 5: Labor and the War 86
  • Notes 124
  • 6: War, Women, and the Family 133
  • Notes 163
  • 7: Black Americans and the First World War 170
  • Notes 191
  • 8: The Aftermath of War Reconstruction, Red Scare, and the 1920s 196
  • Notes 221
  • Epilogue from Progressivism to Prosperity: the First World War in Perspective 226
  • Notes 236
  • Bibliography 239
  • Index 257
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