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

Events & Resources

Please see the Library's public events calendar for a schedule of ongoing tours, talks, and other activities related to World War I.

Upcoming Events

The Road Back: Veterans and Literary Writing

Saturday, November 10, 2018

In honor of Veterans Day, the Library's Poetry and Literature Center, Veterans History Project, and Exhibits Office present a symposium on the veterans' "road back," focusing on the use of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction as a means of coping with service experience. The symposium will include the following:

Tours of Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I will be available at 10 am and noon.

11 am–Noon: Panel Discussion: Veterans and Literary Writing (Thomas Jefferson Building, First Floor, LJ-119)

A panel of experts will discuss writing as a means of coping with service experience.

1:30–2:30 pm: Poetry & Literature Reading (Thomas Jefferson Building, First Floor, LJ-119)

Poets Bill Jones, Vess Quinlan, Dave Richmond, and Bruce Weigl External discuss their favorite World War I writers, share selections of their work, and participate in a discussion moderated by Anya Creightney, Programs Manager of the Poetry and Literature Center.

3:00-5:00 pm: Film Screening: The Road Back (1937) (Madison Building, Third Floor, Pickford Theater)

Directed by James Whale, The Road Back (1937) is based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque and is the sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front. The film follows German soldiers from the Armistice through their return home and was heavily edited by Universal before its 1939 re-release. Restored by the Library of Congress in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive, Universal Studios, and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Library of Congress. Screening rights provided by New York University, executor of the Erich Maria Remarque Estate. Tickets available via Eventbrite External.

Recorded Webinars

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

This session examines the making of the Library's WWI exhibition and explores the upheaval of world war as Americans confronted it—both at home and abroad. Cheryl Regan, the exhibition director, provides highlights of the show.

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Over Here, Over There: Immigrant Veterans of WWI

More than 120,000 veterans received citizenship as a direct consequence of military service and began a tradition of service-based naturalization. Liaison Specialist, Owen Rogers, explores the intersection of immigration and World War I military service through materials collected by the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP).

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Woodrow Wilson Chooses War

Like many individuals around the globe, Woodrow Wilson was shocked by the outbreak of a devastating world war among European empires in 1914. As President of the United States, however, he had a unique opportunity to shape the outcome of this catastrophic conflict. Sahr Conway-Lanz of the Library's Manuscripts Division discusses the Woodrow Wilson papers available at the Library of Congress. They are the most extensive and significant collection of Wilson documentation found anywhere and include his White House files as well as personal and professional materials from the rest of his life.

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Lest Liberty Perish: Joseph Pennell and World War I

Katherine Blood of the Prints and Photographs Division discusses the wartime work of printmaker Joseph Pennell, including "Lest Liberty Perish," an evocative image of New York City destroyed by the enemy. Created for the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive of 1918, his design was mass produced. The Prints and Photographs Division preserves impressions of virtually all of Pennell's graphic works.

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Charles Hamilton Houston & World War I

Before Charles Hamilton Houston became the chief attorney for the NAACP and a mentor to Thurgood Marshall, he was a young officer serving in a segregated military during the First World War. Curator Ryan Reft discusses Houston's wartime experiences and their influence on his later work.

View webinar

Companion Publication

America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History, by Margaret E. Wagner, chronicles the American experience in neutrality and conflict. It presents events and arguments; political and military battles; and tragedies and epic achievements that marked U.S. involvement in the first modern war. Filled with quotations and personal stories, the book also includes more than 250 color and black-and-white illustrations from Library of Congress collections, many never before published.

Published by Bloomsbury Press, in association with the Library of Congress, it is available from the Library of Congress Sales Shop and bookstores nationwide.

Additional Library of Congress Publications

  • Forever a Soldier: Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service by Tom Weiner. A project of the Veterans History Project, published by the Library of Congress in association with National Geographic, 2005.
  • Voices of War: Stories of Service from the Home Front and the Front Lines edited by Tom Weiner. A project of the Veterans History Project, published by the Library of Congress in association with National Geographic, 2004.

To explore stories online from the Veterans History Project visit "Experiencing the War, World War I: The Great War."

Learn More

For more information on World War I and the Library's related collections and resources, visit the Library's World War I Topic page. This page includes an online version of the exhibition, digitized collections, blog posts by Library curators, teacher resources, and event listings, including new information and collections as they become available.

Lesson Plans & Teacher Resources

Suggested Readings

  • Berg, A. Scott, ed. World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It. New York: Library of America, 2017.
  • Capozzola, Christopher. Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Doenecke, Justus D. Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America's Entry into World War I. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011.
  • Eisenhower, John S. D., and Joanne Thompson Eisenhower. Yanks: The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I. New York: Free Press, 2001.
  • Howard, Michael. The First World War: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007
  • Kazin, Michael. War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914–1918. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017.
  • Keene, Jennifer D. Doughboys, the Great War, and the Remaking of America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
  • Kennedy, David M. Over Here: The First World War and American Society. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
  • Lentz-Smith, Adriane. Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.
  • MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. New York: Random House, 2002.
  • Neiberg, Michael S. The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

For Young Readers

  • Bausum, Ann. Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2014.
  • Boyne, John. Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2014.
  • Frost, Helen. Crossing Stones. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.
  • Hunter, Nick. The Home Fronts in World War I. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014.
  • __________. Campaigns of World War I. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014.
  • __________. Life on the Western Front. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014.
  • __________. Women in World War I. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2014.
  • Jeffrey, Gary. On the Western Front (Graphic Modern History: World War I). New York: Crabtree, 2013.
  • Keenan, Sheila, et al. Dogs of War. New York: Graphix, 2013.
  • Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky. New York: Delacorte Press, 2006.
  • Mattick, Lindsay, and Sophie Blackall. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. New York: Little, Brown and Company 2015.
  • Morpurgo, Michael, and Michael Foreman. Farm Boy: The Sequel to War Horse. New York: Scholastic Press, 2012.
  • Osborne, Linda Barrett. Come On In, America: The United States in World War I. New York: Abrams Books, 2017.
  • Vanderpool, Clare. Moon Over Manifest. New York: Delacorte Press, 2010.

Additional suggestions are available in the Library's Young Readers Center, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building.

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