World War I was a seminal event in American History. The war which began for the United States as a declared belligerent a hundred years ago last week left a complicated but lasting legacy.
But whatever reason it’s often forgotten by many, as romanticism around other wars and events has dominated discourse. World War I transformed American society and the relationship of our nation with the world. It ushered in positive and progressive changes for women and African-Americans though it also created a counter-reaction that led to a red scare, increased racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, American isolation, the roaring 20’s and eventually the rise of fascism.
The PBS series which aired on three successive nights last week is available online at PBS.org. It’s highly recommended viewing which will educate even those who like myself considered ourselves bookish and experts on the war.