The author and her family were overrun in Belgium at the outbreak of the war. Instead of completing her medical studies to become a physician, Marthe became a nurse in a hospital run by the Germans. She also fed information to the British who had set up an underground network as they retreated. Marthe proved to be intelligent, fast thinking, reliable and cautious.
An excellent nurse, she was honored with others for their efforts by the King of Württemberg. As the war continued the Germans were able to staff and monitor the occupied areas with troops whose job was to suppress resistance and locate spies. When she was finally captured for her participation in sabotage the Germans wanted to shoot her. However, her former supervisors at the hospital vouched for her work and reminded the review board that it would look awfully bad to be killing heroines with German medals. She escaped the firing squad, spending the remainder of the war in prison.
Well-written, the reader comes to appreciate the stress that accumulates back when communications were much slower than today.
Len's Summary: The story of the bitterly fought four-party 1912 presidential race won with a 42% plurality by T. Woodrow Wilson. Socialist candidate Debs garnered a record number of votes (some 900 thousand) for the Socialist Party, and was later jailed for his vociferous opposition to American entry into WWI. Proof that George W. Bush was not America's first minority President. Indeed, Wilson never won 50% of the vote in either 1912 or 1916. The 1912 election set the stage for a remarkable spate of progressive measures than included, during Wilson's first term, the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, creation of the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Income Tax, and the Federal Reserve System, as well as a constitutional amendment providing for the direct election of Senators.
Theodore Roosevelt and World Order: Police Power in International Relations by James R. Holmes ISBN: 1574888846 Published byPotomac Books on April 1st 2007 Pages: 336
Len's Summary: A new look at Roosevelt's "Big Stick" policies, the Roosevelt Corollaries to the Monroe Doctrine and American imperialism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The author is a former naval officer and a Ph.D. graduate of the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Len's Summary: Analysis of Wilson's speeches in support of ratification of the Treaty of Versailles during his September 1919 tour of western states cut short by a crippling stroke. The author assesses the tour in the light of Wilson's own scholarly writings on government.
Len's Summary: An original and revisionist thesis arguing that the real peace settlement of WWI was not incorporated in Versailles, but rather in the London reparations settlement of 1924 (the Dawes Plan) and the Locarno security pact of 1925 which fostered German reintegration into the community of nations and laid the realistic foundations for a European security system.
Nation, Memory and Great War Commemoration: Mobilizing the Past in Europe, Australia and New Zealand by Shanti Sumartojo, Ben Wellings ISBN: 3034309376 Published byPeter Lang on April 23rd 2014 Pages: 329
Len's Summary: Moving from WWI to the Third Reich, Tooze takes the position that economic super power America was not ready in 1918 for world leadership, that Clemenceau was justified in demanding huge reparations from Germany, and that the Great Depression, not Versailles, catapulted Hitler to power. The author teaches at Yale.
Len's Summary: Finds the Great War’s legacy to be the creation of intellectual, cultural, social and political anti-war movements focused on conflict resolution. Concepts of peace and global order arising Phoenix-like from the fires of war. Covers the 15-year period from the Moroccan Crisis of 1911 to the Locarno Pact of 1925. Three stars.
Len's Summary: A brief, well-crafted biography by one of America’s most acclaimed novelists and critics about one of America’s most complicated and controversial political personalities. Also available from Books on Tape at http://www.booksontape.com for $24.95.
Len's Summary: Chapters by Brigadier Jonathan Bailey on Western Front battlefields and the genesis of modern warfare, and Dr. Holger Herwig on the battle fleet revolution of 1885-1914. Recommended by WFA and TGWS member Bob Denison.
Len's Summary: A survey and analysis of America’s increasing involvement in world affairs through four administrations in two the decades beginning with the Spanish American War and ending with the declaration of war against Imperial Germany in 1917. This is an era often ignored by today’s diplomatic historians. Editor-in-Chief Len Shurtleff will review this monograph for Stand To!
Len's Summary: An important new study of American-Russian relations during the Wilson administration with an introduction by my former boss, Larry Eagleburger. Trani is best known for his study of the Harding administration.
The Politics of War: The Story of Two Wars Which Altered Forever the Political Life of the American Republic by Walter Karp ISBN: 9781879957558 Published byFranklin Square Press on 2003 Pages: 384
Len's Summary: Reprint of a 1979 monograph which takes an unvarnished and unflattering look at how domestic politics shaped the foreign policy of the Progressive Era and America emergence after 1898 as a world power. Recommended by the editors of American Heritage.
Len's Summary: By the author of A Peace to End all Peace on postwar redrawing of the map in the Mid East. Fromkin lays the blame for WWI on Germany. Little new here; the current work edited by Holger Herwig and Richard Hamilton, The Origins of World War I (Cambridge 2003) is far more enlightening.
Len's Summary: Covers the history of Turko-Armenian relations as well as the pogroms of 1915-16 with particular emphasis on American reactions and interventions. A History Book Club alternate selection.
Len's Summary: International alarm over terrorism is nothing new. Read examines the “Reds under the bed” scare of 1918-1920 that threatened free speech in North America and Western Europe in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the abortive Marxist uprisings in Germany, labor unrest in the UK and terror bombings in America. As with the current al-Qeada menace, liberal democratic governments of this era often overreacted to a shadowy and inchoate Red Menace.
Len's Summary: This is the story of an early 20th century conflict between the perceived demands of national security and the constitutional guarantee of free speech that led to the creation of the American Civil Liberties Union. Railway labor leader and five-time Socialist Party presidential candidate, Eugene Debs (1855-1926) is forgotten today, but won nearly a million popular votes in 1912 and 1920. Debs ran for President in 1920 from a jail cell convicted under the 1917 Espionage Act cell because of his outspoken opposition to American entry into WWI. He was pardoned in 1921 by President Warren G. Harding. The author teaches at the University of Tennessee.
Len's Summary: America turns over unprecedented power to the Federal Government creating a new American state and a new citizen. One of a series of recent social and political histories reexamining the American home front society and politics in WWI. The author is Associate Professor of History at MIT.
On Saturday March 12 the WW1HA hosted its first ever online quiz night. This was a fun way to get geographically distant members together virtually. We are considering doing this a few times a year.
The next issue of World War One Illustrated (WWOI) will be printed shortly. Members/subscribers should receive their printed issue in the next month or so.
Members are encouraged to participate in the monthly online seminars hosted by the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter; and we plan to announce a gathering of WW1HA members at the National World War I Museum’s Fall 2022 symposium. Stay tuned!
Do you have a special interest or knowledge regarding a WW1 topic? Consider sharing your knowledge by writing an article for WWOI or a shorter blog post (500 – 1,000 words) for the WW1HA Facebook page. Talk to Editor Ed Klekowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Charles Van Way (email@example.com) for more details.
Finally, you can always reach out to me with your thoughts or questions.