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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Committee on Public Information. How the War Came to America. [English, German, and Spanish]. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, June 15, 1917. General Collections, Library of Congress (077.00.00)
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Committee on Public Information. How the War Came to America. [English, German, and Spanish]. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, June 15, 1917. General Collections, Library of Congress (078.00.00)
Enlarge
Committee on Public Information. How the War Came to America. [English, German, and Spanish]. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, June 15, 1917. General Collections, Library of Congress (079.00.00)
Enlarge

How the War Came

The United States government undertook a comprehensive propaganda campaign under the auspices of the Committee for Public Information (CPI) headed by George Creel. The agency shaped public opinion on the war effort through an unprecedented multimedia campaign that lasted throughout U.S. involvement in the war. These pamphlets illustrate the efforts of the CPI to reach diverse communities within the United States by publishing their message in German, Spanish, and English. With this approach, they sought to forge a unified, government-sponsored view of why Americans were fighting in distant lands. More than 6,250,000 copies of How War Came to America were in circulation, and it proved to be one of CPI's most popular publications.

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