Against the Specter of a Dragon: The Campaign for American Military Preparedness, 1914-1917

Against the Specter of a Dragon: The Campaign for American Military Preparedness, 1914-1917

Against the Specter of a Dragon: The Campaign for American Military Preparedness, 1914-1917

Against the Specter of a Dragon: The Campaign for American Military Preparedness, 1914-1917

Synopsis

"All the confusions of various plans, numerous actors and complex motives of the attempt to strengthen U. S. military power before its entry into World War I are unfurled in this very scholarly study. Although the preparedness movement never achieved its goals, it did modify views sufficiently so that the country went to war ready for compulsory military service. No other book shows so carefully how the movement matured... should become a standard on the subject for scholars." -Library Journal

Excerpt

Napoleon once wrote that a constitution ought to be brief and obscure. A preface should only imitate a constitution's brevity. Many people have helped me in the preparation of this book. I would like to extend my special thanks to E. David Cronon of the University of Wisconsin, who supervised the dissertation from which the present work stemmed, and to David A. Shannon of the University of Virginia, who encouraged me to start work on this project. My former colleague at Ohio University, George C. Herring, Jr., shared with me his knowledge of the source materials. Edward M. Coffman of the University of Wisconsin generously read through the manuscript and helped speed its way to publication. I have been well served by my editors, Jay Luvaas of Allegheny College, and Colonel Tom Griess of the United States Military Academy, as well as by the staff of Greenwood Press. Of course, the book could not have been written at all without the help of the librarians and archivists at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Cleveland Public Library, the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and the libraries of Columbia University, Harvard University, Ohio University, Princeton University, Swarthmore College, the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin, and Yale University. Finally, I must acknowledge an intellectual debt to Walter Millis, whose writings first interested me in the study of American national security policy.

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