New York and the First World War: Shaping an American City, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

New York and the First World War

Shaping an American City, 1st Edition

By Ross J. Wilson


274 pages

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Hardback: 9781472419491
pub: 2016-03-18
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The First World War constitutes a point in the history of New York when its character and identity were challenged, recast and reinforced. Due to its pre-eminent position as a financial and trading centre, its role in the conflict was realised far sooner than elsewhere in the United States. This book uses city, state and federal archives, newspaper reports, publications, leaflets and the well-established ethnic press in the city at the turn of the century to explore how the city and its citizens responded to their role in the First World War, from the outbreak in August 1914, through the official entry of the United States in to the war in 1917, and after the cessation of hostilities in the memorials and monuments to the conflict. The war and its aftermath forever altered politics, economics and social identities within the city, but its import is largely obscured in the history of the twentieth century. This book therefore fills an important gap in the histories of New York and the First World War.


’Ross Wilson’s account of the transformation of New York as an immigrant city into an American city adds an original and an important element to the burgeoning literature on the social and cultural consequences of the First World War on American life.’ Jay Winter, Yale University, USA ’Paris, London, Berlin - Wilson puts New York City on the map as another major metropolis transformed by World War I; demonstrating with vigor that studying the local offers the truest path to understanding the war’s global reach.’ Jennifer D. Keene, Chapman University, USA ’Recommended. Most academic levels/libraries.’ Choice 'Father Duffy’s monument is in the middle of Times Square, but it’s unfamiliar to most New Yorkers and few can identify its honoree. That’s just one of many reasons to read New York and the "First World War: Shaping an American City."' The New York Times

Table of Contents

Introduction; New York before the war; The outbreak of conflict; Charity and suspicion; Preparedness and identity; One city, one nation, one loyalty; Conclusions; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Ross J. Wilson is Senior Lecturer in Modern History and Public Heritage at the University of Chichester.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in First World War History

The First World War is a subject of perennial interest to historians and is often regarded as a watershed event, marking the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the 'modern' industrial world. The sheer scale of the conflict and massive loss of life means that it is constantly being assessed and reassessed to examine its lasting military, political, sociological, industrial, cultural and economic impact. Reflecting the latest international scholarly research, the Routledge Studies in First World War History series provides a unique platform for the publication of monographs on all aspects of the Great War. Whilst the main thrust of the series is on the military aspects of the conflict, other related areas (including cultural, visual, literary, political and social) are also addressed. Books published are aimed primarily at a post-graduate academic audience, furthering exciting recent interpretations of the war, whilst still being accessible enough to appeal to a wider audience of educated lay readers.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Military / World War I
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century