Bodies Of War

Bodies Of War

by Marjorie DeVault
     
 

The United States lost thousands of troops during World War I, and the government gave next-of-kin a choice about what to do with their fallen loved ones: ship them home for burial or leave them permanently in Europe, in makeshift graves that would be eventually transformed into cemeteries in France, Belgium, and England. World War I marked the first war in

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Overview

The United States lost thousands of troops during World War I, and the government gave next-of-kin a choice about what to do with their fallen loved ones: ship them home for burial or leave them permanently in Europe, in makeshift graves that would be eventually transformed into cemeteries in France, Belgium, and England. World War I marked the first war in which the United States government and military took full responsibility for the identification, burial, and memorialization of those killed in battle, and as a result, the process of burying and remembering the dead became intensely political. The government and military attempted to create a patriotic consensus on the historical memory of World War I in which war dead were not only honored but used as a symbol to legitimize America’s participation in a war not fully supported by all citizens.

The saga of American soldiers killed in World War I and the efforts of the living to honor them is a neglected component of United States military history, and in this fascinating yet often macabre account, Lisa M. Budreau unpacks the politics and processes of the competing interest groups involved in the three core components of commemoration: repatriation, remembrance, and return. She also describes how relatives of the fallen made pilgrimages to French battlefields, attended largely by American Legionnaires and the Gold Star Mothers, a group formed by mothers of sons killed in World War I, which exists to this day. Throughout, and with sensitivity to issues of race and gender, Bodies of War emphasizes the inherent tensions in the politics of memorialization and explores how those interests often conflicted with the needs of veterans and relatives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814799901
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
11/01/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
335
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

“Pilgrims,” from Rhymes of a Red-Cross Man
Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Map of ABMC Cemeteries and Monuments
Introduction
Part I Repatriation
1 The Journey’s End
2 Origins
3 A Daunting Pledge
4 Charon’s Price
5 A Problem of Policy
6 Make Way for Democracy!
7 Troubled Waters
8 Bringing Them Home
Part II Remembrance
9 Republican Motherhood Thrives
10 A Star of Recognition
11 A Reluctant Giant
12 A Commission is Born
13 Sacred Space and Strife
14 We the People
15 Americans Make Waves
Part III Return
16 A Country for Heroes?
17 Pilgrim or Tourist?
18 Commemoration or Celebration?
19 Pilgrims’ Progress
20 Mothers and Politics
21 Mathilda’s victory
22 Stars of Black and Gold
23 Highballs on the High Seas
24 A Personal Experience
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index
About the Author

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