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They left Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Michigan, and Stanford to drive ambulances on the French front, and on the killing fields of World War I they learned that war was no place for gentlemen. The tale of the American volunteer ambulance drivers of the First World War is one of gallantry amid gore; manners amid madness. Arlen J. Hansen’s Gentlemen Volunteers brings to life the entire story of the menand womenwho formed the first ambulance corps, and who went on to redefine American culture. Some were to become legendsErnest Hemingway, e. e. cummings, Malcolm Cowley, and Walt Disneybut all were part of a generation seeking something greater and grander than what they could find at home.
The war in France beckoned them, promising glory, romance, and escape. Between 1914 and 1917 (when the United States officially entered the war), they volunteered by the thousands, abandoning college campuses and prep schools across the nation and leaving behind an America determined not to be drawn into a “European war.” What the volunteers found in France was carnage on an unprecedented scale. Here is a spellbinding account of a remarkable time; the legacy of the ambulance drivers of WWI endures to this day.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
George Plimpton was an American journalist, actor, editor, and writer. Well-known for helping to found The Paris Review and for his sports writing, Plimpton died from natural causes in 2003.
Table of Contents
Foreword George Plimpton v
Introduction Arlen J. Hansen xiii
Part I The Three Beginnings
1 The Harjes Formation 3
2 Richard Norton and the American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps 21
3 A. Piatt Andrew and the American Ambulance Field Service 39
Part 11 Works and Days
4 Under Fire 59
5 En Repos 79
6 The Cars 97
Part III The End of Something
7 Politics, Motives, and Impressions 119
8 Some Female Drivers and Other Noteworthy Volunteers 137
9 Militarizing the Gentlemen Volunteers 161