Of course, all historians use periodization and begin and end their
particular studies with one event or another, but the First World War was
more than just an historical full stop marking the end of one period and the
beginning of another: for America, as for other countries, the war was a
complex affair that saw some pre-war developments brought to a conclusion, some come to a temporary halt, and others continue, colored by
the peculiar nuances of wartime. The experience of war also brought new
concerns, new emphases, new ideas, and new personalities to the fore,
thus creating the sense and reality of change. So much was this to be the
case that a digest of newspaper articles and editorials in 1918 found a
widespread "unargued assumption that things will never be the same
again as they were before the war."
23 Try as they might in the 1920s,
Americans could not turn back the clock and deny the experience of the
M. A. Jones, "American Wars," in
Dennis Welland, ed., The United
States: A Companion to American Studies ( London, 1974), 153; the
reviewer was David Englander, "An Age of Total War," Times Higher
Education Supplement, 1 June 1984.
See Arthur Marwick, War and Social Change in the Twentieth Century
( London, 1974); Britain in the Century of Total War ( London, 1968); The
Deluge: British Society and the First World War ( London, 1965); and
numerous journal articles and papers; Alan Milward, The Economic
Effects of the World Wars in Britain ( London, 1970); Geoffrey Best, War
and Society in Revolutionary Europe ( London, 1983), and editor of the Fontana History of European War and Society series. The Open University History course and television programs broadcast on BBC television
entitled "War and Society" (led by Marwick) have been very influential
in Britain. See for example, J. M. Winter, ed., War and Economic Development ( Cambridge, England, 1975); B. Bond, ed., War and Society:
A Yearbook of Military History ( London, 1975); and, with I. Roy, vol. 2
( London, 1977).
Jim Heath, "Domestic America During World War II: Research Opportunities for Historians," Journal of American History 58 ( September 1971): 384-414.
Over Here: The First World War and American Society ( New York and Oxford, 1980), despite its title is not, as the author admits (p.v.) "a study
of the impact of the war on American society," but only of certain
aspects of it. Thus labor, women, and blacks are all dealt with in a single
chapter, and the main focus of this ably written book is on traditional
areas of interest. The central chapters deal with the military experience
and its interpretation through literature. Two other studies, both
"folksy"—almost to the point of nostalgia—are Edward Robb Ellis, Echoes of Distant Thunder: Life in the United States, 1914-1918 ( NewYork, 1975)
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: From Progressivism to Prosperity:World War I and American Society.
Contributors: Neil A. Wynn - Author.
Publisher: Holmes & Meier.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1986.
Page number: xx.
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