11 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2018
    1. Jay Winter, Historian: The notion of military service as a kind of a test of character, a test of...of courage...is a very deep American phenomenon, to test your mettle against the harshest steel in the world was something very hard to resist for people like Alan Seeger. And I think he was characteristic of a larger group of individuals who felt that this war was one that could lead them to experience things that other human beings won’t ever know. 

      What was the notion of masculinity imbedded in volunteering to fight for France?

    2. Margaret MacMillan, Historian: There’s tremendous pressure on Wilson. What’s he going to do? People like Teddy Roosevelt are saying look, we’re cowardly. We should be in there fighting for the values we think are important and not watching Germany trample all over them. You could argue that the United States does have an interest in not seeing the continent of Europe dominated by Germany. But Wilson doesn’t like to think like this and Wilson was a deeply moral man and he believed in doing what he felt was right.

      what are the gendered aspects of cowardice?

    3. Narrator: At a hospital near the Somme battlefield, the American nurse Mary Borden often met the procession of ambulances and their cargo of grievously wounded soldiers. Voice: Mary Borden: There are no men here, so why should I be a woman? There are chests with holes as big as your fist, and pulpy thighs, shapeless; and stumps where legs once were fastened. There are eyes — eyes of sick dogs, sick cats, blind eyes, eyes of delirium; and mouths that cannot articulate; and parts of faces — the nose gone, or the jaw. There are these things, but no men; so how could I be a woman here and not die of it? Sometimes, suddenly, all in an instant, a man looks up at me from the shambles, a man's eyes signal or a voice calls “Sister! Sister!” Sometimes suddenly a smile flickers on a pillow, white, blinding, burning, and I die of it. I feel myself dying again. It is impossible to be a woman here. One must be dead.

      What do you think Borden means by "why should I be a woman?" How does her attitude differ from the propaganda images of nurses.

    4. Anxious to cultivate the influence of the peace movement, Wilson sent Jane Addams five dozen long stem roses, and asked for her endorsement.  Michael Kazin, Historian: Addams is a life-long Republican. And so it’s a big step for her to support Wilson. But she believes that Wilson is certainly a peacemaker. He wants to be a peacemaker she believes. She wants to give him a chance to be a peacemaker, where she has no trust whatsoever in the current leadership of the Republican Party. Narrator: As the campaign picked up speed in the fall of 1916, Wilson often appeared with his most fervent supporter by his side: his new wife, Edith Bolling Galt. They had met the previous spring, only two months before the crisis over the sinking of the Lusitania. A. Scott Berg, Writer: He was driving the streets with his doctor and closest friend at that time, who waved hello to this woman on the street. And Wilson suddenly turned and said, who is that beautiful woman? Narrator: Edith Galt was a vivacious, well-to-do Washington widow. Wilson would spend the next six months trying to win her affection.    A. Scott Berg, Writer: It took up a lot of his time, maybe it took up too much of his time. . . .  He was bewitched. There were days he was writing three or four love letters to her. Narrator: "You have invited me to make myself the master of your life and heart,” the President wrote, “the rest is now as certain as that God made us.” “This is my pledge, Dearest One,” she replied. “No matter whether the wine be bitter or sweet we will share it together and find happiness in the comradeship.” A. Scott Berg, Writer: Edith Galt had this incredibly tonic effect on the president. He came to life again. And it allowed him really to focus on his work with so much more ease. And he had somebody to share all this with. She knew part of the job of being Woodrow Wilson’s wife was to be a great promoter, was to be out there rooting for him and, and supporting him.

      what do you make of the interjection of "romance" into this documentary on war?

    5. Dan Carlin, Podcast Producer: These camps were almost like Boy Scout camps in a sense. I mean you got your friends and your football team. And this idea that we’re going to go and prepare ourselves for war is both naïve when you think about the difference between what these camps must have been like compared to what troops facing gas on the Western Front were dealing with. And yet at the same time, there was something very American about the whole idea too. Michael Kazin, Historian: The main supporters of preparedness believed the United States had to be prepared to fight against Germany. Also they believed that a strong nation had to have a strong military. And young Americans had to have a military mindset. So training, knowing how to use a gun, knowing how to conduct oneself in combat, these were important skills for any advanced, powerful nation to have.

      How did dominant forms of white masculinity feed into preparedness? How did this exclude any male who was not white?

    6. Narrator: The danger of their new occupation helped cultivate an air of reckless bravado among the pilots of the Escadrille. “If I should be killed in this war,” one of Chapman’s fellow pilots wrote home, “I will at least die as a man should.” Michael Neiberg, Historian: They throw outlandish parties. They have two lion cubs, Whiskey and Soda, as their mascots. Celebrities from all over Europe want to have dinner with them, want to see them. So they have this devil-may-care attitude. They don’t really need the French army’s discipline. The French army needs them more than they need the French army. They fly in their bathrobes. They do more or less whatever they want. Narrator: The Lafayette Escadrille made headlines in the United States and an American film crew arrived in France to chronicle the exploits of Victor Chapman and his fellow aviators. Voice: Victor Chapman: Dear Father, [We] roared and buzzed . . . past the camera man, up into the air. Then one at a time we rushed by him. I must say that he had nerve. . . You will see it all, I expect, sometime this summer; for it is to be given to some American cinema company in Paris Andrew Carroll, Writer: They’re very popular and regardless of what Americans felt about the war itself, these guys were in a way heroes. They were kind of like the early astronauts. Narrator: For all their fame, and often reckless bravery, the pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille understood that the odds against their survival were daunting. On June 23rd, Victor Chapman dove into a dogfight, trying to rescue some of his comrades. He shot down three German planes, before being overwhelmed, his plane riddled with bullets. He became the first American flier to give his life for France. A French friend of the Chapman’s wrote to Victor’s father shortly after his death. “I have just left the Church . . . after attending the service in honor of your son… The self sacrifice of this one who comes to us, and places himself at our side, for no other reason than to make right triumph over wrong, is worthy of . . . honor. America has sent us this sublime youth, and our gratitude for him is such that it flows back upon his country.” Richard Rubin, Writer: They were handsome, well-bred young men who went off to do what they thought was right, even though the United States didn’t want to get involved in the fight at that point. And they were flying airplanes which captured the imagination of the entire world. To this day, the image that we think of often when we think of World War I is an aviator with his goggles and his leather cap and his long silk scarf. They were a very tiny minority of any fighting force. But they were, in essence, the face that all the armies wanted to show the enemy and the world.

      How did war shape masculinity?

    7. Wharton Voice: Edith Wharton: Since leaving Paris yesterday we have passed through streets and streets of such murdered houses, through town after town spread out in its last writhings . . . deliberately erased from the earth. At worst they are like stone-yards, at best like Pompeii. But Ypres has been bombarded to death, and the outer walls of its houses are still standing, so that it presents the distant semblance of a living city, while near by it seems to be a disemboweled corpse. Every window-pane is smashed, nearly every building unroofed, and some house-fronts are sliced clean off, with the different stories exposed, as if for the stage-setting of a farce . . . and with a little church so stripped and wounded and dishonoured that it lies there by the roadside like a human victim. Narrator: In the spring of 1915, one of America’s most famous novelists embarked on a tour of the Western front. Edith Wharton had come on her own initiative to deliver medical supplies, take photographs and write letters and articles for publication back home about what she called the “dreadful realities of war.” For seven months, Wharton followed the track of the German invasion, describing the “huge tiger scratches that the [German] Beast flung over the land.” She stopped to visit French troops, who wrote “Vive L’Amérique!” in chalk on her car, and got close enough to the front lines to peer out at a dead German soldier sprawled across No Man’s Land. “I had the sense of an all-pervading, invisible power of evil,” she remembered, “a saturation of the whole landscape with some hidden vitriol of hate.” Michael Neiberg, Historian: Edith Wharton is symbolic of a lot of Americans who are living in France, already had a deep passion and interest in France, a deep love of France. They’re able to make clear exactly what’s happening. And the important thing about this is it’s coming from an American voice. Narrator: At the outset of the war, Wharton had organized a series of American hostels to shelter the wave of dislocated families pouring into Paris. In little more than a year, her relief organization had provided clothing and jobs for more than 9,000 refugees and served nearly a quarter of a million meals. She also begged Americans at home to help finance her efforts. “For heaven's sake . . .” she wrote to a friend, “proclaim everywhere, and as publicly as possible . . .what it will mean to all that we Americans cherish if England and France go under.” In June, Wharton arrived in Dunkirk immediately after the town had been shelled by the Germans. The “freshness of the havoc seemed to accentuate its cruelty,” she wrote. The hospitals in Dunkirk were struggling to absorb the casualties from artillery, but they were also confronting the effects of a shocking new weapon that had just been introduced. A month before Wharton had arrived, not far from Dunkirk, French and Canadian troops had looked across No Man’s Land and seen a greenish haze drifting towards them. Soon the unsuspecting men were writhing in agony, choking to death as chlorine gas burned their throat and lungs. In a panic, the survivors abandoned their positions. More than a thousand soldiers were killed, most of them slowly drowning as their lungs filled with fluid.

      What role did gender play in reporting on the war?

    8. Horrified by what the war had become, in April of 1915, a group of delegates from the Woman’s Peace Party set off for the International Congress of Women, in The Hague. The WPP numbered more than 40,000 women nationwide, and their goal was the creation of an internationally sanctioned framework for an end to the war. The president was Jane Addams. Helen Zoe Veit, Historian: Jane Addams was in some ways the preeminent progressive. She founded a settlement house in Chicago called Hull House that was a place where immigrants and poor people could go to get help, to get education. She toured the country as a lecturer, in the name of peace. She was one of the most visible women in America at this time. Narrator: “We do not think that by raising our hands we can make the armies cease slaughter.” Addams admitted, “[But] we do think it is fitting that women should meet and take counsel to see what may be done.” One of the peace movement’s harshest critics, former president, Theodore Roosevelt, lashed out at Addams and her fellow pacifists.  “It is base and evil to clamor for peace in the abstract,” he thundered, “when silence is kept about concrete and hideous wrongs done to humanity at this very moment.”  The women were undeterred. Roosevelt was a “barbarian”, they responded, “out of his element” and “half a century out of date. More than a thousand women, from 12 different nations, attended the conference, including representatives from Germany and Austria-Hungary. Kimberly Jensen, Historian: Addams and women from many nations gathered to say war must end, and we must not engage in this conflict. The world has come too far to allow a barbarous war like this to happen and to really destroy what we have built. She saw alliances among women across national boundaries to be a very important pathway to peace. Michael Kazin, Historian: The reason why Jane Addams and other pacifist feminists go to The Hague is to put pressure on Wilson to get involved in really backing up with actions what he’s been saying all along which is that it is the role of the United States to help mediate the war. And so in a sense this is a citizen’s peace initiative which is trying to nudge Wilson to do the right thing.   Narrator: On her return to America, Jane Addams met with Wilson six times. Christopher Capozzola, Historian: He hears from her about what she’s seen in Europe. And I think it clearly influences him by making him think that his instinct that America should have a leadership role in settling the peace is a correct one.

      How did women's pacificsm lead to involvement in politics?

    9. Narrator: Tin Pan Alley’s love affair with anti-war songs reflected the growing force and popularity of the American peace movement. In August of 1914, thousands of women, both black and white, had gathered together and marched down Fifth Avenue in silence. The Evening World reported that: “Every woman in the slow-moving line wore some badge of mourning, either a . . .  band around her sleeve or a bit of crepe fluttering at her breast,” “as a token of the black death which is hovering over the European battlefields.” Michael Kazin, Historian: The march is very silent, very somber. It’s sort of like a funeral march because they are mourning the young men who are dying in increasing numbers, after less than a month of war. The women’s march in 1914 really is the outgrowth of a very large women’s movement in America. And this is really a sign that women are going to be in the forefront of opposition to the war. Jay Winter, Historian: Pacifism on the part of men was harder because it suggested cowardice. So women could say things and act politically in a way that men couldn’t. Nancy K. Bristow, Historian: We could be the arbiter of wars. We could be those that would stop the killing. We could be those that would help find the peace.

      What were the gendered dynamics of war at play here?

    10. But the news from Belgium turned more disturbing with each passing day. Racing to keep to their invasion timetable, the Germans ruthlessly put down any resistance. Civilians were mowed down with machine guns; 14,000 buildings were deliberately destroyed. Fifteen days into the invasion, German soldiers arrived at the Belgian city of Louvain, a center of culture for centuries. Then, they burned it to the ground. Voice: Richard Harding Davis: At Louvain it was war upon the defenceless, war upon churches, colleges, shops of milliners and lace-makers: war brought to the bedside and the fireside; against women harvesting in the fields, against children in wooden shoes playing in the streets. At Louvain that night the Germans were like men after an orgy.

      What role did gender play in US propaganda about the invasion of Belgium?

    11. Women who refused to set aside their campaign for suffrage

      what is the connection between suffrage and war?