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On the battlefield of memory : the First World War and American remembrance, 1919-1941 / Steven Trout.

By: Trout, Steven, 1963-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, [2010]Copyright date: ©2010Description: xxxiii, 304 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780817317058 (cloth : alk. paper); 0817317058 (cloth : alk. paper); 9780817383497 (electronic); 0817383492 (electronic).Subject(s): World War, 1914-1918 -- Social aspects -- United States | Collective memory -- United States | Memory -- Social aspects -- United States | World War, 1914-1918 -- InfluenceAdditional physical formats: Online version:: On the battlefield of memory.DDC classification: 940.3/1
Contents:
Introduction : memory, history, and America's First World War -- Custodians of memory : the American legion and interwar culture -- Soldiers well-known and unknown : monuments to the American doughboy, 1920-1941 -- Painters of memory : Harvey Dunn, Horace Pippin, and John Steuart Curry -- Memory's end? : Quentin Roosevelt, World War II, and America's last doughboy.
Review: ""As the centennial of the First World War approaches, Steven Trout provides an invaluable and timely reassessment of that conflict's place in America's national memory. His arguments are judicious, compelling, and elegantly presented."--Edward G. Lengel Author of to Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918" ""This impressive book will change forever the way we think about World War I and its place in American memory. It shows how deeply contested and controversial American understandings about this war have been since its conclusion. [On the Battlefield of Memory] should be required reading for anyone interested in the role of this critical event in American history."--Michael S. Neiberg Author of Fighting the Great War: A Global History and The Second Battle of the Marne" ""A superb book that should be on the bookshelf of anyone seeking to understand the complex political, military, and cultural legacy of World War I on American society. Trout's work ably demonstrates the malleability of memory even when cast in stone or set in print. On the Battlefield of Memory is especially attentive to understanding the mix of nostalgia, comradeship, and political activism that marked the American Legion during the interwar years. World War I divided American society, and Trout is especially careful to delineate the stark divisions in how black and white Americans remembered World War I."--G. Kurt Piehler Author of Remembering War the American Way" "This work is a detailed study of how Americans in the 1920s and 1930s interpreted and remembered the First World War. Steven Trout asserts that from the beginning American memory of the war was fractured and unsettled, more a matter of competing sets of collective memories--each set with its own spokespeople--than a unified body of myth. The members of the American Legion remembered the war as a time of assimilation and national harmony. However, African Americans and radicalized whites recalled a very different war. And so did many of the nation's writers, film-makers, and painters." "Trout studies a wide range of cultural products for their implications concerning the legacy of the war: John Dos Passos's novels Three Soldiers and 1919, Willa Cather's One of Ours, William March's Company K, and Laurence Stallings's Plumes; paintings by Harvey Dunn, Horace Pippin, and John Steuart Curry; portrayals of the war in the American Legion Weekly and the American Legion Monthly; war memorials and public monuments like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; and commemorative products such as the twelve-inch tall Spirit of the American Doughboy statue." "Trout argues that American memory of World War I was not only confused and contradictory during the '20s and '30s, but confused and contradictory in ways that accommodated affirmative interpretations of modern warfare and military service. Somewhat in the face of conventional wisdom, Trout shows that World War I did not destroy the glamour of war for all, or even most, Americans and in fact enhanced it for many."--Jacket.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
D524.7.U6 T78 2010 (Browse shelf) Available 0000002129013

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Introduction : memory, history, and America's First World War -- Custodians of memory : the American legion and interwar culture -- Soldiers well-known and unknown : monuments to the American doughboy, 1920-1941 -- Painters of memory : Harvey Dunn, Horace Pippin, and John Steuart Curry -- Memory's end? : Quentin Roosevelt, World War II, and America's last doughboy.

""As the centennial of the First World War approaches, Steven Trout provides an invaluable and timely reassessment of that conflict's place in America's national memory. His arguments are judicious, compelling, and elegantly presented."--Edward G. Lengel Author of to Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918" ""This impressive book will change forever the way we think about World War I and its place in American memory. It shows how deeply contested and controversial American understandings about this war have been since its conclusion. [On the Battlefield of Memory] should be required reading for anyone interested in the role of this critical event in American history."--Michael S. Neiberg Author of Fighting the Great War: A Global History and The Second Battle of the Marne" ""A superb book that should be on the bookshelf of anyone seeking to understand the complex political, military, and cultural legacy of World War I on American society. Trout's work ably demonstrates the malleability of memory even when cast in stone or set in print. On the Battlefield of Memory is especially attentive to understanding the mix of nostalgia, comradeship, and political activism that marked the American Legion during the interwar years. World War I divided American society, and Trout is especially careful to delineate the stark divisions in how black and white Americans remembered World War I."--G. Kurt Piehler Author of Remembering War the American Way" "This work is a detailed study of how Americans in the 1920s and 1930s interpreted and remembered the First World War. Steven Trout asserts that from the beginning American memory of the war was fractured and unsettled, more a matter of competing sets of collective memories--each set with its own spokespeople--than a unified body of myth. The members of the American Legion remembered the war as a time of assimilation and national harmony. However, African Americans and radicalized whites recalled a very different war. And so did many of the nation's writers, film-makers, and painters." "Trout studies a wide range of cultural products for their implications concerning the legacy of the war: John Dos Passos's novels Three Soldiers and 1919, Willa Cather's One of Ours, William March's Company K, and Laurence Stallings's Plumes; paintings by Harvey Dunn, Horace Pippin, and John Steuart Curry; portrayals of the war in the American Legion Weekly and the American Legion Monthly; war memorials and public monuments like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; and commemorative products such as the twelve-inch tall Spirit of the American Doughboy statue." "Trout argues that American memory of World War I was not only confused and contradictory during the '20s and '30s, but confused and contradictory in ways that accommodated affirmative interpretations of modern warfare and military service. Somewhat in the face of conventional wisdom, Trout shows that World War I did not destroy the glamour of war for all, or even most, Americans and in fact enhanced it for many."--Jacket.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

According to Trout (English, Fort Hays State Univ.), WW I, "the forgotten war," occupied a disordered position in US national memory in the decades after the war ended. Public remembrance ranged broadly: one interpretation was that the US had intervened nobly and heroically in a foreign war, performing splendidly and proving itself as a world power; another was that the experience was sordid, hellish, demoralizing, and tragic. The author argues that variations on these themes were as numerous as the "constituencies"--an assessment he bases on meticulous analysis of art, literature, periodicals, and war memorials. For example, individual works of commemoration--such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and E. M. Viquesney's sculpture Spirit of the American Doughboy--often portray more than one point of view, placing heroism in close juxtaposition with brutality. The deaths and burial sagas of Private First Class William L. Davis of Kansas and Quentin Roosevelt, son of Theodore Roosevelt, demonstrate the perplexing responsibilities of the nation to the thousands who had fallen in combat. Trout concludes that the "forgotten" war is part of the mythology of a narrative that was never able to achieve consistency. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. E. J. Jenkins Arkansas Tech University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Steven Trout is a Professor of English and Chair of the English Department at FortHaysStateUniversity in Kansas. He is author/editor of several books, including Memorial Fictions: Willa Cather and the First World War and American Prose Writers of World War I: A Documentary Volume .

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