Americans All!: Foreign-Born Soldiers in World War I (Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series No 73)
By: Nancy Gentile Ford (author)Hardback
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During World War I, nearly half a million immigrant draftees from 46 different nations served in the US Army. This surge of Old World soldiers challenged the American military's cultural, linguistic and religious traditions and required military leaders to reconsider their training methods for the foreign-born troops. How did the US War Department integrate this diverse group into a united fighting force? The war department drew on the experiences of progressive social welfare reformers, who worked with immigrants in urban settlement houses, and they listened to industrial efficiency experts, who connected combat performance to morale and personnel management. Perhaps most significantly, the military enlisted the help of ethnic community leaders, who assisted in training, socialising and Americanising immigrant troops and who pressured the military to recognize and meet the important cultural and religious needs of the ethnic soldiers.
Nancy Gentile Ford's research seeks to illuminate what it meant for the US military to re-examine early-20th-century nativism; instead of forcing soldiers into a melting pot, war department policies created an atmosphere that made both American and ethnic pride acceptable.
Nancy Gentile Ford is a professor of history at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. She has written a number of articles dealing with ethnicity, gender, and citizenship in war. Ford is currently writing a book that examines key debates in military history.
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- ID: 9781585441181
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