Lost Battalions: The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality

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Macmillan, 2005 M11 29 - 639 pages
“A work of stunning density and penetrating analysis . . . Lost Battalions deploys a narrative symmetry of gratifying complexity.”—David Levering Lewis, The Nation During the bloodiest days of World War I, no soldiers served more valiantly than the African American troops of the 369th Infantry—the fabled Harlem Hellfighters—and the legendary 77th “lost battalion” composed of New York City immigrants. Though these men had lived up to their side of the bargain as loyal American soldiers, the country to which they returned solidified laws and patterns of social behavior that had stigmatized them as second-class citizens.
Richard Slotkin takes the pulse of a nation struggling with social inequality during a decisive historical moment, juxtaposing social commentary with battle scenes that display the bravery and solidarity of these men. Enduring grueling maneuvers, and the loss of so many of their brethren, the soldiers in the lost battalions were forever bound by their wartime experience.
Both a riveting combat narrative and a brilliant social history, Lost Battalions delivers a richly detailed account of the fierce fight for equality in the shadow of a foreign war.

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LOST BATTALIONS: The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality

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Heroes today, gone tomorrow: Revisionist historian/novelist Slotkin (Gunfighter Nation, 1992, etc.) once more limns the national character by probing history that the nation has overlooked, in this ... Read full review

Lost battalions: the Great War and the crisis of American nationality

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For the African American soldiers of the 369th Infantry and the immigrant (Jewish, Italian, Irish, etc) soldiers of the 77th division of the 308th Infantry, American entry into World War I was a ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Richard Slotkin is the Olin Professor and the former director of
American Studies at Wesleyan University. His previous books include Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln, National Book Award Finalist Gunfighter Nation, and Regeneration Through Violence, also a National Book Award Finalist and
winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Prize. He lives in Middletown, Connecticut.

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