The Battle for Democracy on the Home Front During World War IBook - 2010
In 1915, the United States experienced the 9/11 of its time. A German torpedo sank the Lusitania killing nearly 2,000 innocent passengers. The ensuing hysteria helped draw the United States into World War I—the bitter, brutal conflict that became known as the Great War and the War to End All Wars. But as U.S. troops fought to make the world safe for democracy abroad, our own government eroded freedoms at home, especially for German-Americans. Free speech was no longer an operating principle of American democracy. Award-winning author Ann Bausum asks, just where do Americans draw the line of justice in times of war?
Drawing thought-provoking parallels with President Wilson’s government and other wartime administrations, from FDR to George W. Bush, Bausum’s analysis has plenty of history lessons for the world today. Her exhaustive research turns up astonishing first-person stories and rare images, and the full-color design is fresh and stunning. The result is a gripping book that is well-positioned for the run-up to the World War I centennial.
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Baker & Taylor
Analyzes the United States' involvement in World War I, examining the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania and drawing parallels between the administrations of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush.
A provocative analysis of the United States' involvement in World War I examines the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania --the "9/11" of that era--and draws parallels between the administrations of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush, exploring the ways in which various tenets of democracy were compromised for German-American citizens.
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“In the Spring of 1917, as the United States prepared to declare war on Germany and enter the fight that would become known as World War I, nearly one quarter of all Americans had either been born in Germany or had descended from Germans.”
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Thousands of Germans lived in America on the eve of WWI. Then the hysteria began. It is easy to forget that even as the United States fought abroad for freedom, back at home many of its citizens were oppressed for their beliefs, customs, language, and heritage. Mobs created to “root out spies and enemies” ended with 70 dead and lynched Americans (and not a single one a true spy). Businesses died, the German language was no longer taught, and lives were destroyed. Ann Bausum chronicles with amazing clarity what happens to a country when freedoms are allowed to disappear in the name of war. The parallels between WWI and what’s happening today are unavoidable, and teach a definite lesson about what we should remember when we find ourselves fighting. Backmatter includes a Guide to Wartime Presidents, a Timeline, a Bibliography, and a Resource Guide.
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