A Critical History of the American Red Cross, 1882-1945: The End of Noble Humanitarianism (Symposium S. No.71)
By: Gwendolyn C. Shealy (author)Hardback
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It was assumed by many, including the Red Cross, that the Geneva Treaty was being honored, that food parcels were reaching the starving Allied prisoners, and that the Red Cross was relaying accurate information to the homefront concerning the welfare of captive soldiers. Shealy's work provides data from declassified military documents and Red Cross documents deeded to the National Archives and the library of Congress. Coupled with mainstream sources, her research offers a revisionist perspective of the American Red Cross era from 1882 to 1945. Additionally, the Red Cross, usually above reproach, turned the mirror initself with candid monographs written post-WWII to 1950. These discourse, documents and letters reveal the agency's struggle to reconcile itself with policy not always in step with its recipients.
From Europe to the United States - origins of the international committee of the Red Cross and the Geneva Convention; the Red Cross during the Spanish-American war - Clara Barton seeks to position the Red Cross as America's humanitarian agency with the Spanish-American war as the catalyst; expansionist ideals of juvenile nation - American government recognizes the advantage of incorporating the Red Cross as a sponsored humanitarian arm as the US embarks on expansionism; Boardman opens the door - Barton is overthrown as president of the American Red Cross by Mabel Boardman, who reforms the ARC into a more bureaucratic philanthropy; Will, Mabel and their progeny - the friendship between William H. Taft and Mabel Boardman as possible impetus behind change in leadership at the ARC; the price of progressivism - continuing discussion of reform of the ARC to an institutionalized philanthropy; a new Red Cross - the origins of ARC headquarters in Washington DC, financial reorganization; the test of the 1905 charter - first test as a humanitarian arm of the government in WWI, government-endorsed fund drives, propaganda and censorship, trial of Louis Nagle, transformation of the ARC into a quasi-governmental agency; ersatz humanitarianism - ARC at the mercy of policy as developed by the ICRC, government censorship, military - ARC so politicized and bureaucratized by WWII aid to American prisoners of war held in German camps not always effective nor accurately portrayed; conclusion; appendices.
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