Beyond 1917: The United States and the Global Legacies of the Great War
A massively destructive and transformative event, the First World War left in its wake many legacies. Beyond 1917explores both the consequences of the war for the United States (and the world) and American influence on shaping the legacies of the conflict in the decades after US entry in 1917. From the fields, seas, and airspace of battle, we live today with the consequences of the Great War's poison gas, post-traumatic stress disorder, and technological inventions such as air bombardment of civilians, submarine and tank warfare, and modern surgical techniques. Conscription, pacifism, humanitarian campaigns, and socialist movements emerged from the war to shape politics within countries for decades to come. Governments learned the value of propaganda, both in print and in film. Society changed: women were emancipated in some countries and citizenship was altered in many places, while aristocracy and monarchies went into decline. European empires were transformed and in some cases destroyed; in the Middle East, the change was enormous, beginning with the final collapse of Ottoman hegemony in the region. Fascism and communism, mass migration, independence, militarism, an influenza epidemic, the rise of Wall Street and American economic power, a slowdown in the process of globalization, and the pursuit of world peace by an organization based on collective security numbered among the most significant and lasting legacies of this conflict.
Beyond 1917 explores how and why the war has become an integral milepost for human history, reflects the importance of the conflict, the forces that led to it, and the forces it unleashed. On the occasion of the centennial commemorations, an international group of scholars considers the long-term policy, political, social, economic, and cultural consequences of the war for the United States itself and for the world. In addition to interpretive essays, the volume provides a comprehensive bibliography and timeline of events.