America's entry into World War One in April 1917 marked the end of one era in the nation's history and the start of another. As acclaimed historian Michael S. Neiberg reveals in his compelling new work, the Great War erupted in the midst of lively domestic debate as to what America's role should be in the global sphere. Whereas Woodrow Wilson was re-elected in 1916 by pledging to stay out of the conflict in Europe, former president Theodore Roosevelt was convinced
that the war offered a means for the U.S. to become a dominant power and ensure national security.
In The Road Over There, Neiberg follows American reactions to such events as the Lusitania, German espionage, and the Zimmermann telegram, shedding light on the dilemmas and crises that the country faced in the war years. In the summer of 1916, German agents detonated the Black Tom railroad terminal in Jersey City, New Jersey, leaving only fragments of piers (still visible today); it was the costliest act of domestic terrorism in American history before 9/11 and its effect was
Neiberg's book will revive debates around America's entry into World War One, building to Wilson's declaration while examining the forces and shifts that made it all but inevitable. Neiberg establishes beyond question that World War One was not a parenthetical exception in American history but a moment of national and international self-identification, one whose effects still resonate today.
Michael S. Neiberg is Professor of History at the Army War College and co-director of the Center for the Study of War and Society. He has also taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the University of Southern Mississippi. With backgrounds in social history, military history, French history, and American history, Neiberg has published widely on the theme of war in the world, especially in the era of the two world wars. His most recent books are Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I (2011), The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944 (2012), and Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe (2015).