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World War I is, along with the War of 1812, one of the most important, but least understood, episodes in American military history. Though scholars suggest the conflict was the most important event of the twentieth century, Americans generally fail to grasp the significance of the war in developing America’s view of itself in the twentieth century. Decades before America lost its innocence at Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Centers, its sons and daughters left their farms, homes, and tenements, joined with millions of other Americans training for war, and journeyed across the broad Atlantic Ocean to fight on behalf of democracy and against the tyranny of German militarism. The historiography of America’s experience during the Great War lacks the autobiographical works that characterizes much of the writing of World War II, Vietnam, and, of course, the personal videos, blogs, and still photography of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Lost Sketchbooks is a step to redressing that omission.
Pennsylvania History is the official journal of the Pennsylvania Historical Association, and copyright remains with PHA as the publisher of this journal.