This final volume returns us to American shores – and follows American troops into battle in Europe. There's President Wilson's address to Congress declaring war on Germany, and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George's response. You'll read the text of the declaration, the proclamation of compulsory military service, and General Pershing's official report on the American mobilization in France. There's a contemporary press report of the “Big Bertha” aerial bombardment of Paris, and a survivor's account of the sinking of the troopship President Lincoln. There are highly personal accounts of battles as well as official reports, and fascinating descriptions of the war in the air. You'll read correspondence between General von Hindenburg and Marshal Foch as they negotiate the Armistice, the text of the Kaiser's abdication and an eye-witness report of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The volume concludes with documents relating to the post-war Presidencies of Harding and Coolidge.
Introduction To The Series
"After you've heard two eyewitness accounts of an auto accident, you begin to worry about history." This observation, attributed to the comedian Henny Youngman, summarizes the dilemma you face when you want to find out what really happened in the past. When you read a history book, the "facts" are actually the author's own interpretation, often colored by a conscious or unconscious wish to have you share a particular point of view. You're one step (or many steps) removed from the original source material.
That's why the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States compiled this 12- volume collection of writings of people who actually witnessed the key events in American history - the actual actors in the events or contemporary observers of them. Past historians have spent decades locating, studying and consulting vast amounts of material such as this. This meticulously chosen selection brings you the essence of history as originally recorded by those who participated in it.
You'll be reading mostly eye-witness accounts, by people contemporary with the events they describe, including many significant historical figures themselves. So you can make your own assessments, draw your own conclusions and gain an understanding of past events undistorted by the prejudices, assumptions and selectivity of professional historians. In some instances where there aren't reliable or easily accessible eye-witness accounts, the compilers have chosen extracts from objective, authoritative historians of past generations such as Francis Parkman whose judgements have stood the test of time. Through these accounts, your knowledge of American history will be immeasurably greater, your understanding of the key events in the building of the nation immensely increased.
Founded in 1899, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to foster camaderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts, from the Spanish-American War to Iraq and Afghanistan, and to ensure that they receive due respect and entitlements for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of the nation. With this mission, the VFW has a natural desire to encourage a broad understanding and appreciation of American history, and this essential collection of historical documents makes a huge contribution to that aim.
This reissue was scanned, formatted and converted to e-book format by Library4Science.com with the permission and encouragement of the VFW, to make the series more accessible to a wider public. The VFW receives 50% of all royalty revenue from these e-books. This book is about 300 print pages long.