America's Great War: World War I and the American Experience (Critical Issues in American History)

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Much has been written on World War I, but few books focus solely on America's involvement in the war as successfully as Robert H. Zieger. In America's Great War, Zieger concentrates his attention on five broad themes that affected Americans: Woodrow Wilson's role in shaping world order; America's familial connection to Europe; the complicated relationship between the wartime experience and the Progressive Era; race; and the emergence of the National Security State.

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About the Author:

Robert H. Zieger is professor of history at the University of Florida.

Review:

Three qualities have always characterized Robert Zieger's work: thorough familiarity with the pertinent literature; balanced and thoughtful analysis; and a graceful writing style. Each of these are evident in this volume. (Burton Kaufman, Miami University, Ohio)

The writing is lively, specific, and clear, but what impresses me most about this volume is its fairness. Zieger demonstrates that the strongest arguments from apparently clashing interpretations can be brought together to make a balanced, persuasive synthesis. (Kendrick Clements, University of South Carolina)

Robert Zieger, the distinguished historian of labor, has produced in America's Great War a superb overview of the national experience in World War I. He adds to diplomatic, political, and military history a close examination of the war's impact on women, minorities, and workers. He provides a lucid and fair-minded examination of how America helped the Allies win the war and lose the peace, and incisively analyzes Woodrow Wilson, the conflicted, obsessive self-defeating president around whom the entire war turned. Taking advantage of the latest scholarship, while weaving it skillfully into his own powerful narrative, Zieger has made this the best introduction yet to America's role in the defining event of the 20th Century. (William L. O'Neill, Professor of History, Rutgers University; author of Coming Apart)

Prize-winning historian Robert H. Zieger has written another exemplary book―this one a judicious and insightful examination of the American experience during the Great War. In this eminently readable, thoughtful, and well-reseached work, he has produced a masterful synthesis that instructs, challenges, fascinates. A model of scholarly analysis, Zieger's study will engage the interest of specialists, students, and general readers alike. (LeRoy Ashby, Washington State University)

World War I was the seminal cataclysm of the twentieth century. Professor Zieger's lucid volume is a discerning and provocative exploration of its consequences for the American people. (George H. Nash, author of The Life of Herbert Hoover)

This well-crafted book takes the measure of America's experience in World War I both at home and on the European battlefield, gauging the lofty hopes with which so many Americans entered the fray and plumbingthe tragic legacy of the war with equal care. The work of a historian who combines uncommon skill with a deeply humane vision, America's Great War provides readers the best single-volume introduction to its subject now in print. (Joseph A. McCartin, Georgetown University)

Brimming with sharp judgments and keen insights, Zieger's is the best book yet on the American experience in World War I. Zieger skillfully places the war in historical perspective, showing how the events of 1917-18 shaped the century to come. But he also conveys a sense of how the unfolding drama of war, with all its uncertainties, appeared to Americans at the time. (Patrick J. Maney, author of The Roosevelt Presence: The Life and Legacy of FDR)

Anyone looking for a first-rate book on the United States and World War I will derive great pleasure and insight from Robert Zieger's America's Great War. This is a concise, balanced, thoughtful, and well-written account of domestic, military, and diplomatic aspects of a war that has greatly influenced American life and institutions in the ensuing 80 years. (James T. Patterson, Brown University)

Robert Zieger's fascinating reexamination of America's World War I experience is deeply informed, gracefully and accessibly written, exceptionally insightful, and extraordinarily well balanced. It provides a masterful and much needed synthesis incorporating the best of recent research and interpretive rethinking. And, as intended, it will leave readers not only with a better understanding of what happened and why but also with a heightened sense of its historical importance, tragic implications, and enduring interest. It deserves a wide readership and extensive usage. (Ellis W. Hawley, University of Iowa)

This is a thoughtful, accessible and well-crafted analysis of the Great War's meaning and its impact on American society. Based on a scrupulous sifting of recent scholarship, Zieger's synthetic study brings to life both the geo-political significance of the war and its influence in reshaping the day-to-day lives of ordinary Americans. (Shelton Stromquist, University of Iowa)

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