The Last Days Of Innocence Essay

The Last Days Of Innocence Essay

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The Last Days of Innocence, written by British historians Meirion and Susie Harries, portrays a detailed account of America’s involvement in World War I. The Harries focus most of their discussion on the political and social debates on the home front, while still providing facts of the battle actions during the war. They discuss, at length, the bitter debate over entering the war, the impact the war played on the American’s at home, on the struggles of the nation’s identity, the effects of growing labor and social unrest, and massive growth of government powers.
President Woodrow Wilson hesitantly joined the Allies on April 6th 1917. Even joining this late into war, the American people were not ready for such an undertaking on the battlefield. Training had to begin rather hurriedly; volunteers and draftees were rounded up and put through to the battlefields in very little time. Although not fully trained and lacking in wartime experience, the American forces fought enthusiastically, earning the Allies gratitude. It was known that they brought a certain innovation to the battle, not only on the ground, but also on the sea and in the air. The authors provide pictures of the military war efforts in their chapter “Into Battle.”
Many men were not given a choice or were guilt tripped into enlisting for war. For this reason, several, but not all, harbored feelings of resentment. The authors provide evidence of this in their quote from a poem by the Wobblies:
I love my flag, I do, I do,
Which floats upon the breeze,
I also love my arms and legs,
And neck, and nose and knees.
One little shell might spoil them all
Or give them such a twist
They would be of no use to me;
I guess I won’t enlist (Harries183).
Out right defiant acts against war...


... middle of paper ...


...time in history very factually, as other works have also done. I do believe however, their being British put a more pro-British outlook of the war.
Due to the British and French being determined to impose their terms on Germany, they downplayed America 's contributions to the war, and undercut President Wilson 's attempts to insure the peace. I am not saying that the authors discredited America 's importance in the war, but I do think they painted a slight picture that we were not innocent to start with. The authors made a point to show we were capitalizing off the war industries. Never mind the fact that we gave billions of loans that were never paid back. We did make money on the materials sent over, but I would not paint this in such a negative way. Overall, I found the book very informative and enjoyed reading the effects the war had on the citizen’s at home.

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